Divergent hemodynamic and hormonal responses to varying salt intake in normotensive subjects

Hypertension. 1993 Sep;22(3):331-8. doi: 10.1161/01.hyp.22.3.331.


Blood pressure responses to 1 week of low-salt (20 mmol sodium/d) and high-salt (300 mmol sodium/d) intake were investigated in a single-blind randomized study in 163 white, nonobese normotensive subjects (65 women and 98 men; mean age, 38 +/- 1.2 years). The individuals were classified as salt sensitive when mean arterial blood pressure rose by at least 5 mm Hg during high-salt intake, as salt resistant when mean arterial blood pressure changed by less than 5 mm Hg, and as "counterregulator" when mean arterial blood pressure fell by at least 5 mm Hg during the high-salt diet. Reexamination of 31 subjects showed that this approach to the testing of salt sensitivity was reliable and reproducible. Thirty subjects (18.4%) were classified as salt sensitive, 108 (66.3%) as salt resistant, and 25 (15.3%) as counterregulators. Multiple regression analysis revealed that age, body weight, and family history of hypertension contributed significantly to the change in blood pressure after the diets. Salt sensitivity was more frequent in older subjects and in those with a positive family history of hypertension. An increase in blood pressure after salt restriction was more likely in younger individuals and in those with a negative family history of hypertension. Plasma renin activity and plasma aldosterone concentrations were lower in salt-sensitive compared with salt-resistant and counterregulating subjects. The rise in plasma renin activity during salt restriction was most pronounced in counterregulating subjects. Plasma norepinephrine concentrations were not different among the groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aldosterone / blood
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / blood*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects*
  • Body Weight
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Renin / blood*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sodium Chloride / administration & dosage*
  • Sodium, Dietary / administration & dosage*


  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Aldosterone
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor
  • Renin
  • Norepinephrine