Epidemiological studies of sodium transport and hypertension

A. McDonald, M. Trevisan, R. Cooper, R. Stamler, F. Gosch, D. Ostrow, J. Stamler

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11 Scopus citations


Red blood cell membrane cation transport was measured in five population-based surveys and two randomized, controlled, dietary intervention studies to examine its associations with demographic, biological, and dietary variables in free-living individuals. A total of 508 individuals, 255 with high blood pressure, were studied. Both sexes, blacks and whites, and several age groups were represented. The intervention studies included short-term dietary sodium restriction in normotensive adolescents, and a 4-year multifactorial trial on weight, sodium, and alcohol in hypertensive adults. The findings from these surveys and intervention studies are summarized in this report. Sodium-stimulated lithium countertransport was significantly related to diastolic blood pressure in white adults (r = 0.28, p < 0.001), and to systolic blood pressure in black children (r = 0.50, p < 0.005) and white adolescents (r = 0.31, p < 0.05). Lithium countertransport was related to sex and race, but not age. Body mass index had an independent relationship with lithium countertransport in some age groups. Lithium countertransport was lower in normotensive adults than in both younger and older hypertensive adults. Lithium countertransport did not differ significantly between subjects with hypertension treated with antihypertensive medications and those with untreated hypertension. Short-term dietary sodium restriction did not influence lithium countertransport in normotensive adolescents. Long-term dietary intervention was associated with low lithium countertransport in hypertensive adults able to maintain blood pressure control without medication. These findings indicate that lithium countertransport is related to blood pressure and hypertension among free-living individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)I-42-I-47
Issue number5 II SUPPl.
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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