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Review: reduced sodium intake results in small reductions in blood pressure among people with hypertension

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Question What is the effect of reduced sodium intake on systolic blood pressure (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP)?

Data sources

English language studies were identified using Medline (1966 to December 1997) with combinations of the search terms salt or sodium; restriction or dietary; blood pressure or hypertension; and randomised or randomized or random. 4 previous meta-analyses and the reference lists of retrieved citations were also reviewed.

Study selection

Studies were included if they randomly allocated patients to either a low or high sodium diet; sodium intake was assessed using 24 hour urinary sodium excretion; no confounding occurred; effects on SBP, DBP, and mean blood pressure were reported; and mean age of patients was >15 years.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on sample size, mean age and sex of participants, duration of intervention, sodium reduction, …

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  • Source of funding: The Aage and Edith Dysegaard Foundation.

  • For correspondence: Dr N A Graudal, Tissue Typing Laboratory, Section 7631, Department of Clinical Immunology, Rigshospitalet, 20 Tagensvej, DK-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark. Fax +45 35 32 78 53.