Salt sensitivity and resistance of blood pressure. Age and race as factors in physiological responses.
To identify characteristics that may contribute to salt sensitivity, we conducted studies of normal subjects who are at risk for hypertension, namely blacks, subjects older than 40 years of age, and first-degree relatives of subjects with essential hypertension. We also formulated definitions for salt sensitivity and resistance with a short-term volume expansion and contraction protocol and additionally from data derived from studies of long-term reduced dietary salt intake. We examined the effects of augmented potassium and calcium intake and also those of sodium as the chloride or the bicarbonate salt. Finally, we sought genetic markers that are associated with salt sensitivity. We found that salt sensitivity is a function of age and is more common in blacks than whites. These groups also have relatively delayed acute salt excretion compared with controls. We were unable to identify effects of gender. Haptoglobin phenotypes (HP 1-1) may facilitate identification of salt-sensitive individuals. A high potassium intake may make individuals less salt sensitive. Sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate differ in their effects on blood pressure. Sodium chloride augments urinary calcium excretion, but sodium bicarbonate does not. Differences between susceptible and nonsusceptible groups, together with improved knowledge of electrolyte interactions, may facilitate our understanding of salt-sensitive hypertension.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association