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Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Apr;292(4):R1683-9. Epub 2006 Dec 14.

Lowest neonatal serum sodium predicts sodium intake in low birth weight children.

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Department of Psychology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel 31905.


Forty-one children aged 10.5 +/- 0.2 years (range, 8.0-15.0 yr), born with low birth weight of 1,218.2 +/- 36.6 g (range, 765-1,580 g) were selected from hospital archives on the basis of whether they had received neonatal diuretic treatment or as healthy matched controls. The children were tested for salt appetite and sweet preference, including rating of preferred concentration of salt in tomato soup (and sugar in tea), ratings of oral spray (NaCl and sucrose solutions), intake of salt or sweet snack items, and a food-seasoning, liking, and dietary questionnaire. Results showed that sodium appetite was not related to neonatal diuretic treatment, birth weight, or gestational age. However, there was a robust inverse correlation (r = -0.445, P < 0.005) between reported dietary sodium intake and the neonatal lowest serum sodium level (NLS) recorded for each child as an index of sodium loss. The relationship of NLS and dietary sodium intake was found in both boys and girls and in both Arab and Jewish children, despite marked ethnic differences in dietary sources of sodium. Hence, low NLS predicts increased intake of dietary sodium in low birth weight children some 8-15 yr later. Taken together with other recent evidence, it is now clear that perinatal sodium loss, from a variety of causes, is a consistent and significant contributor to long-term sodium intake.

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