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Hypertension. 1993 Mar;21(3):273-9.

Insulin resistance in young salt-sensitive normotensive subjects.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Universitätsklinikum Steglitz, Free University of Berlin, FRG.


Insulin resistance has been demonstrated in patients with essential hypertension, and insulin-mediated sodium retention is believed to contribute to hypertension in these individuals. Recently, a hyperinsulinemic response to an oral glucose load has been found in salt-sensitive normotensive subjects, suggesting that insulin resistance may be present in these hypertension-prone individuals before the development of hypertension. In the present study, we examined the relation between insulin sensitivity and blood pressure response to salt intake in young, lean normotensive subjects on a high and a low salt diet. Insulin sensitivity was estimated by the "insulin suppression test," i.e., by measuring the plasma glucose and insulin concentrations achieved during a 180-minute infusion of somatostatin, insulin, and glucose in 18 healthy male volunteers (age, 21-28 years) given a standardized low salt diet (20 mmol/day) for 2 weeks, supplemented by either 220 mmol of NaCl per day or placebo in a single-blind randomized order for 1 week each. We defined salt sensitivity as a significant decrease in mean arterial blood pressure (> 3 mm Hg [p < 0.05]) measured for 60 minutes at 1-minute intervals on the low salt diet. By this definition, seven of the 18 subjects were salt sensitive. Although insulin infusion resulted in similar plasma insulin levels (approximately 50 milliunits/L) in both groups, concomitant glucose infusion resulted in plasma glucose levels that were more than 50% higher in the salt-sensitive than in the salt-resistant group (p < 0.005 by two-way analysis of variance).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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