Age, race, diagnosis, and sodium effects on the pressor response to infused norepinephrine.
We studied the blood pressure responses to infused norepinephrine in 34 normotensive and 21 unmedicated subjects with essential hypertension. The two groups were similar in age, relative body weight, and urinary electrolyte excretion. Patients were studied on two extremes of dietary salt (200 mEq Na and 10 mEq Na per day). The dose-response curves were highly linear (p less than 0.00001) for both systolic and diastolic blood pressures. There was no evidence for an increased sensitivity to infused norepinephrine among the hypertensive subjects. On the other hand, older subjects had steeper slopes (p less than 0.005). Subjects on a high salt diet had steeper slopes than those on low salt diets (p less than 0.0025); this trend was especially apparent among blacks (p less than 0.005). Black and white hypertensive subjects responded to the high salt diet in opposite fashion: The blacks showed an increased pressor sensitivity (p less than 0.05), whereas the whites demonstrated a nonsignificant decreased pressor sensitivity. These results indicate that age, race, and salt effects must be meticulously controlled in studies of sympathetic nervous system physiology.
- Copyright © 1987 by American Heart Association