Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Moderate sodium restriction with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor in essential hypertension: a double blind study.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 28 February 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:531
  1. G A MacGregor,
  2. N D Markandu,
  3. D R Singer,
  4. F P Cappuccio,
  5. A C Shore,
  6. G A Sagnella


    Fifteen unselected patients who had essential hypertension and whose average supine blood pressure when they were not receiving any treatment and their usual sodium intake was 162/107 mm Hg were treated with captopril 50 mg twice daily. After one month's treatment their supine blood pressure had decreased to 149/94 mm Hg. They were then instructed to reduce their sodium intake to about 80 mmol(mEq)/day. After two weeks of moderate sodium restriction they were entered into a double blind randomised crossover study comparing the effect of 10 Slow Sodium tablets (100 mmol sodium chloride) with matching placebo tablets while continuing to take captopril and restrict sodium in their diet. After one month of taking placebo their mean supine blood pressure was 137/88 mm Hg with a urinary sodium excretion of 83 mmol/24 h, while after one month of taking Slow Sodium tablets their mean supine blood pressure was 150/97 mm Hg (p less than 0.001) with a sodium excretion of 183 mmol/24 h. The mean supine blood pressure during moderate sodium restriction therefore decreased by 9% and correlated significantly with the reduction in urinary sodium excretion. These results suggest that the combination of treatment with a moderate but practical reduction in sodium intake and an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor is effective in decreasing the blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension. This combined approach overcomes some of the objections that have been made to salt restriction alone and to converting enzyme inhibitors alone.