Circadian rhythm of natriuresis is disturbed in nondipper type of essential hypertension

Am J Kidney Dis. 1999 Jan;33(1):29-35. doi: 10.1016/s0272-6386(99)70254-4.


We examined the circadian rhythm of urinary sodium excretion and the effects of sodium restriction on rhythm in both dipper and nondipper types of essential hypertension. Patients (n = 26) with essential hypertension were maintained on relatively high- (10 to 12 g/d of sodium chloride) and low-sodium (1 to 3 g/d) diets for 1 week each. On the last day of each diet, 24-hour blood pressures (BPs) were measured every 30 minutes noninvasively with an automatic device, and on the last 3 days, urinary samples were collected for both daytime (7:00 AM to 9:30 PM) and nighttime (9:30 PM to 7:00 AM). Eight patients were classified as dippers based on a more than 10% reduction in mean arterial pressure (MAP) from daytime to nighttime on a high-sodium diet, and 18 patients were classified as nondippers. A nocturnal decrease in urinary sodium excretion rate (U(Na)V) on the high-sodium diet was observed in dippers (from 7.5 +/- 2.1 during the day to 5.3 +/- 2.5 mmol/h at night; P < 0.0001), but not in nondippers (6.7 +/- 2.1 v 7.6 +/- 2.3 mmol/h; not significant). In nondippers, the night-day ratio of sodium excretion was significantly reduced from 1.2 +/- 0.4 to 0.8 +/- 0.3 (P < 0.003) by sodium restriction; at the same time, the night-day ratio of MAP was reduced from 0.98 +/- 0.04 to 0.93 +/- 0.05 (P < 0.05). In dippers, the night-day ratios of MAP and U(Na)V were not affected by sodium restriction, and both ratios remained constant at less than 1. Before sodium restriction, the night-day ratio of sodium excretion correlated with that of MAP (r = 0.78; P < 0.0001), whereas there was no significant correlation (r = -0.05) after sodium restriction. These findings showed that the circadian rhythm of renal sodium excretion differed between the two types of essential hypertension. The enhanced nocturnal natriuresis and diminished nocturnal BP fall on a high-sodium diet, recognized in nondippers, were both normalized by sodium restriction, resulting in circadian rhythms with nocturnal dips in U(Na)V and BP.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Diet, Sodium-Restricted
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Hypertension / urine
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Natriuresis / physiology*
  • Sodium / urine
  • Sodium, Dietary / administration & dosage


  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Sodium