Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Dietary sodium and arterial blood pressure: evidence against genetic susceptibility.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 291 doi: (Published 30 November 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;291:1525
  1. G C Watt,
  2. C J Foy,
  3. J T Hart,
  4. G Bingham,
  5. C Edwards,
  6. M Hart,
  7. E Thomas,
  8. P Walton


    Thirty five subjects with both parents in the top third of their age specific blood pressure distributions and 31 subjects with both parents in the bottom third of their blood pressure distributions restricted their intake of sodium for eight weeks while taking part in a double blind, randomised crossover trial of supplements of sodium and placebo. A comparison of two periods of four weeks at different intakes of sodium showed no differences in blood pressure in either the groups as a whole or the subgroups who complied best with the diet and tablets. In the compliant subgroups mean urinary sodium excretions were above 120 mmol(mEq) and below 50 mmol/day. The study provides evidence against the hypothesis that people with a family history of high blood pressure are more susceptible in their blood pressure response to dietary sodium.