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Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 1986 Jun;64(6):793-802.

Sodium manipulation in the management of hypertension. The view against its general use.


Extreme changes in sodium intake do have an effect on blood pressure of both normotensive and hypertensive individuals. Cross-population correlates of average sodium intake and mean population blood pressure are discordant with the results of studies within single populations and cannot be used as sufficient evidence to justify a reduction of dietary sodium intake in the general population to prevent hypertension. Both explanatory and management trials of sodium restriction have yielded contradictory results, and convincing evidence on the nature and size of subgroups of hypertensives with enhanced sodium sensitivity is lacking. The proportion of patients who will follow a moderately restricted sodium diet is low, unless expensive and time-consuming programs of instruction and monitoring are introduced. In light of this evidence, it is premature to recommend diets that are low in sodium as a public health measure and as initial and sole treatment of hypertension.

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