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Curr Hypertens Rep. 2007 Aug;9(4):314-9.

Dietary salt restriction and blood pressure in clinical trials.

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Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Epidemiology, Medical University of South Carolina, 135 Cannon Street, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


Dietary salt has long been recognized as a major factor affecting blood pressure such that sodium intake is a component of lifestyle modification guidelines for control of high blood pressure. These recommendations are based on results from epidemiologic observational studies and clinical trials of various sodium diets among normotensives and hypertensives. Nonetheless, results from the different studies vary such that specific recommendations regarding sodium intake are difficult to interpret. The results from several recent major trials indicated greater associations of blood pressure and sodium intake than earlier studies as well as meta-analyses of numerous clinical trials. The studies of sodium intake and blood pressures are complicated by measurements of intake, salt sensitivity, hypertension treatment, effects of sodium independent of blood pressure, and length of interventions. Limitations in the methodology of different studies have reduced the value of the results to provide specific and reliable sodium intake levels essential for clinical and lifestyle guidelines.

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