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Arch Intern Med. 1984 Aug;144(8):1581-4.

BP changes in obese hypertensive subjects during rapid weight loss. Comparison of restricted v unchanged salt intake.


A controlled prospective study compared two groups of obese hypertensive subjects during 12 weeks of a hypocaloric protein-supplemented fast containing 40 mEq of sodium daily. One group received additional sodium chloride sufficient to maintain baseline sodium intake measured prior to the fast (210 m/Eq/day). Sodium restriction resulted in greater weight loss and slightly greater BP reduction only during the initial week of fasting. Thereafter, despite sodium equilibrium, further substantial weight loss and BP reduction were identical in both groups, the decrement in weight being linear (1.89 kg/wk) and the BP reduction asymptotic. Although the initial reduction in BP during the first week of supplemented fast may be attributable to negative salt and water balance, the further reduction in BP during a period of constant sodium balance must be caused by weight loss per se or by the triggering of other antihypertensive mechanisms associated with weight reduction.

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