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Curr Hypertens Rep. 2003 Jun;5(3):225-30.

The renin-angiotensin system in blacks: active, passive, or what?

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Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 221 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.;


Plasma renin activity in blacks has been consistently reported to be lower than in whites. Many mechanisms for the low plasma renin activity have been proposed, including volume status, renal sodium handling, and the reduction of renin release. The status of the RAS is paramount in the regulation of salt and water balance and its implications in disease processes such as hypertension and renal failure. In this review, we present data to suggest that low systemic plasma renin activity in blacks may not be the primary abnormality, but rather the reflection of an overactive RAS at the tissue level in the kidney.

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