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Lancet. 1978 Feb 4;1(8058):227-30.

Hypertension treated by salt restriction.


31 patients with a diastolic blood-pressure between 95 and 109 mm Hg have been treated for two years with a regimen involving a moderate restriction of salt in the diet. The results are compared with those in a control group and in a drug-treated group. Salt restriction has reduced the diastolic blood-pressure by 7.3+/-1.6 mm Hg, a result similar to that in patients treated with antihypertensive drugs. In the untreated group the diastolic blood-pressure rose by 1.8+/-1.1 mm Hg. Most patients did not achieve the desired amount of salt restriction and a stricter adherence to the diet might have caused further falls in blood-pressure. Excessive salt intake is probably a major cause of the epidemic of hypertension in "civilised" countries and a reduction in salt intake may help to control the epidemic. In persons with a diastolic blood-pressure between 90 and 105 mm Hg salt restriction should be tried before drugs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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