Populations with a low salt intake tend to have lower blood pressures than populations with high salt intake. Salt sensitivity or resistance is based on the premise that salt intake can affect an individual patient's blood pressure.


Endpoint: change in mean arterial blood pressure (MAP)


mean arterial blood pressure =

= ((systolic blood pressure) + (2 * (diastolic blood pressure))) / 3


Sodium Load

Sodium Restriction

salt sensitivity

MAP increases above a threshold

MAP decreases below a threshold

salt indeterminate

intermediate change

intermediate change

salt resistance

MAP unchanged or decreases

MAP unchanged or increases




Criteria for Salt Sensitivity


decrease in MAP >= 3 mm Hg with sodium restriction

Franco and Oparil

decrease in MAP >= 10 mm Hg with sodium and volume restriction


increase in MAP >= 10 mm Hg with high sodium intake


Clinical studies on salt sensitivity have been inconsistent, with significant inter- and intra-individual variability.


In clinical practice there may be a noticeable correlation between sodium intake and blood pressure control. Some patients with poorly controlled blood pressure may improve significantly if placed on sodium restriction.


In general restriction of sodium intake is beneficial for many patients and is recommended.


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