Position Paper: Dietary Sodium and Human Hypertension

  • George Pickering


Albutt (1) defined his hyperpiesis, which we now term essential hypertension, as “a malady in which at or towards middle life blood pressure rises excessively”—a definition that has never been improved. The cause of this excessive rise is the outstanding problem concerning the malady. Two main possibilities exist: The cause may be genetic or environmental. Of these, the environmental hypothesis is much more attractive because it suggests possibilities for prevention and treatment. Up to now, no environmental factor of significance other than overnutrition has been identified in Western societies. Persons whose blood pressure tends to rise fastest in middle age also tend to put on weight (2). Conversely, weight reduction in the obese usually leads to a fall of arterial pressure (3).


Arterial Pressure Essential Hypertension Salt Intake Sodium Excretion Dietary Sodium 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1981

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  • George Pickering

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