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Effect of Modest Salt Reduction on Blood Pressure, Urinary Albumin, and Pulse Wave Velocity in White, Black, and Asian Mild Hypertensives.

Hypertension. 2009 Jul 20. He FJ, Marciniak M, Visagie E, Markandu ND, Anand V, Dalton RN, Macgregor GA. Blood Pressure Unit, Cardiac and Vascular Sciences, St. George's, University of London, UK; and the WellChild Laboratory, King's College London, Evelina Children's Hospital, UK.

A reduction in salt intake lowers blood pressure. However, most previous trials were in whites with few in blacks and Asians. Salt reduction may also reduce other cardiovascular risk factors (eg, urinary albumin excretion, arterial stiffness). However, few well-controlled trials have studied these effects. We carried out a randomized double-blind crossover trial of salt restriction with slow sodium or placebo, each for 6 weeks, in 71 whites, 69 blacks, and 29 Asians with untreated mildly raised blood pressure. From slow sodium to placebo, urinary sodium was reduced from 165+/-58 (+/-SD) to 110+/-49 mmol/24 hours (9.7 to 6.5 g/d salt). With this reduction in salt intake, there was a significant decrease in blood pressure from 146+/-13/91+/-8 to 141+/-12/88+/-9 mm Hg (P<0.001), urinary albumin from 10.2 (IQR: 6.8 to 18.9) to 9.1 (6.6 to 14.0) mg/24 hours (P<0.001), albumin/creatinine ratio from 0.81 (0.47 to 1.43) to 0.66 (0.44 to 1.22) mg/mmol (P<0.001), and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity from 11.5+/-2.3 to 11.1+/-1.9 m/s (P<0.01). Subgroup analysis showed that the reductions in blood pressure and urinary albumin/creatinine ratio were significant in all groups, and the decrease in pulse wave velocity was significant in blacks only.

These results demonstrate that a modest reduction in salt intake, approximately the amount of the current public health recommendations, causes significant falls in blood pressure in all 3 ethnic groups. Furthermore, it reduces urinary albumin and improves large artery compliance. Although both could be attributable to the falls in blood pressure, they may carry additional benefits on reducing cardiovascular disease above that obtained from the blood pressure falls alone.

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