Sodium chloride raises blood pressure in normotensive subjects the study of sodium and blood pressure

Stephen Mascioli, Richard Grimm, Cynthia Launer, Kenneth Svendsen, John Flack, Nelly Gonzalez, Patricia Elmer, James Neaton

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52 Scopus citations


The effects of dietary sodium on blood pressure in normotensive adults is not well characterized. The Study of Sodium and Blood Pressure (SNaP) is a randomized, double-blind crossover trial using a placebo or 96 meq sodium in 4-week treatment periods separated by a 2-week washout period. Before capsule treatment periods, participants were instructed in a low sodium diet for 10 weeks to reduce urinary sodium excretion to less than 35 meq/8 hr. The low sodium diet was continued throughout the capsule treatment periods. Participants (n=48; 47 white, 1 black) were 79% male and had an average age of 52 years, a body mass index of 27.6, and a baseline blood pressure of 131/84 mm Hg. Baseline overnight urinary sodium excretion was 51 meq/8 hr and 19 meq/8 hr after the low sodium diet run-in period, before the capsule treatment periods began. Resting, seated blood pressure was measured twice at each visit in a standard fashion. Differences between sodium and placebo treatment periods were as follows: systolic blood pressure, 123.9 versus 1203 mm Hg, respectively p<0.001); diastolic blood pressure, 78.7 versus 76.4 mm Hg, respectively (p=0.005); and sodium excretion, 513 versus 30.9 meq/8 hr, respectively (p<0.001). Both systolic and diastolic blood pressures increased significant amounts in normotensive adults on a low sodium diet supplemented with 96 meq/day sodium. Long-term effects and doseresponse relations need further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)I-21-I-26
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1991


  • Blood pressure
  • Clinical trials
  • Sodium


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