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Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Feb;65(2 Suppl):682S-686S.

Urinary sodium excretion and myocardial infarction in hypertensive patients: a prospective cohort study.

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Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY 10461, USA.


Reduced-sodium diets are frequently recommended for hypertensive patients. To determine the relation of sodium intake to subsequent cardiovascular disease, 24-h urinary excretion of sodium, potassium, and creatinine and plasma renin activity (PRA) were measured in 2937 mildly and moderately hypertensive patients unmedicated for > or = 3-4 wk. Morbidity and mortality in these treated subjects were ascertained. Subjects were stratified by sex-specific quartiles of urinary sodium excretion; race, cardiovascular status, and blood pressure before and during treatment were similar for each stratum. Patients with lower urinary sodium excretion were thinner, excreted less potassium, and had higher PRA. During an average 3.8-y follow-up, 55 myocardial infarctions (MIs) occurred. Incidence of MIs and urinary sodium excretion were inversely associated in the total population and in males but not in females. In males, age- and race-adjusted MI incidence in the lowest compared with the highest quartile of urinary sodium excretion was 11.5 compared with 2.5 (RR: 4.3; 95% CI: 1.7, 10.6). No association was observed between mortality from causes other than cardiovascular disease (n = 11) and urinary sodium excretion. There was a significant linear trend in proportions of MI by quartile of urinary sodium excretion, with a breakpoint after the lowest quartile. In Cox multivariate analysis, the logarithm of PRA, age, systolic blood pressure, and cholesterol as continuous variables, as well as left ventricular hypertrophy and smoking, had a direct association and urinary sodium excretion an inverse, independent association (P = 0.036) with incidence of MI.

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