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New study identifies possible cause of salt-induced hypertension
Date:4/14/2011

n rectal temperature were compared between the men identified as salt sensitive versus those who were salt resistant.

The study found that the ingestion of salt and water lowered body temperature more than the ingestion of water by itself. In addition, body temperature decreased more in individuals who are salt resistant than in individuals who are salt sensitive.

"It appears that salt sensitive individuals maintain core body temperature equilibrium more effectively than salt resistant individuals, but experience increased blood pressure in the process," Dr. Blankfield says. "Conversely, salt resistant individuals maintain blood pressure equilibrium more effectively than salt sensitive individuals following salt and water intake, but experience a greater temperature reduction in the process."

Matthew D. Muller, PhD, postdoctoral research fellow at the Penn State College of Medicine, and the paper's first author explains, "If our results are generalizable, it would be possible to account for the role of salt in the development of salt-sensitive hypertension: salt and water loading raises blood pressure in salt sensitive individuals, and the elevated blood pressure persists for a finite period of time during and after the salt and water intake. These transient blood pressure elevations, whether brief or prolonged, might initiate the complex changes within the walls of the arteries and arterioles that characterize individuals with essential hypertension."

Dr. Muller adds, "Nowadays, physicians tell their patients that no one knows what causes high blood pressure. Since we can now explain why salt-sensitive hypertension develops, a theory that will explain all hypertension may be possible. Thus, physicians may one day be able to tell their patients that the cause of high blood pressure is understood, and physicians may also be able to explain to their patients what must be done to avoid developing this chronic medical condition."
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Contact: Jessica Studeny
jessica.studeny@case.edu
216-368-4692
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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