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J Am Diet Assoc. 1988 Nov;88(11):1432-5.

Does the sodium level in drinking water affect blood pressure levels?

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  • 1Department of Home Economics, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant 48859.


Sodium consumed in excess may make a significant contribution to the causes of many diseases, especially for those who suffer from hypertension. More than 90% of hypertension is essential hypertension. Drinking water may contribute 10% to one's total sodium intake; for patients on sodium restricted regimens, drinking water may account for 64% of total intake. At present, insufficient evidence is available to conclude whether sodium in drinking water causes elevation of blood pressure. It is possible that reducing sodium intake early in life may minimize the risk of hypertension in the later years. Dietitians play a key role in the control of hypertension. Many communities in the U.S. exceed the recommended 20 mg/L or less sodium in drinking water; this may present a hazard to some members of our population.

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