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Olle Melander

Principal investigator

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Moderate salt restriction effectively lowers blood pressure and degree of salt sensitivity is related to baseline concentration of renin and N-terminal atrial natriuretic peptide in plasma.


  • Olle Melander
  • Fredrik Wowern
  • Erik Frandsen
  • Philippe Burri
  • Gunilla Willsteen
  • Mattias Aurell
  • Lennart Hulthén

Summary, in English

Objective The effect of salt restriction on blood pressure is under intense debate. We tested the effect of 100 mmol salt reduction on ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) in 46 Swedish individuals, 39 of whom completed the study, using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design. Furthermore, we tested whether the basal plasma concentration of renin or N-terminal atrial natriuretic peptide (Nt-proANP) predict the degree of salt sensitivity. Methods Participants received all meals and drinks with a total daily NaCl content of 50 mmol during 8 weeks. In addition, NaCl capsules (1100 mmol/day) and corresponding placebo capsules were administered for 4 weeks each in random order. ABP after high-salt intake (1150 mmol/day) was compared with ABP after low-salt intake (50 mmol/ day). Salt sensitivity was defined as the difference between 24-h systolic ABP at the high-salt versus the low-salt periods. Baseline renin and Nt-proANP were related to salt sensitivity. Results Lowering of salt intake from 150 to 50 mmol/day induced significant blood pressure reductions (mean reduction, 95% confidence interval) in systolic and diastolic 24-h ABP (5.8, 3.4-8.2 and 2.6, 0.91 -4.4 mmHg), daytime ABP (5.5, 2.9-8.1 and 2.3, 0.42-4.1 mmHg) and night-time ABP (6.4, 3.5-9.3 and 3.4, 1.4-5.5 mmHg). Baseline In(renin) correlated inversely with salt sensitivity (r = -0.50, P = 0.001) whereas baseline In(Nt-proANP) correlated directly (r = 0.33, P = 0.04). Conclusion Lowering of salt intake with 100 mmol/day induces clinically relevant ABP reductions. Renin and Nt-proANP, measured with individuals on their habitual diet, could be useful biomarkers to identify individuals with the greatest blood pressure-lowering benefit from reduced salt intake.


  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology
  • Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö

Publishing year







Journal of Hypertension





Document type

Journal article


Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • salt
  • salt intake
  • renin
  • blood pressure
  • atrial natriuretic peptide
  • sensitivity



Research group

  • Cardiovascular Research - Hypertension
  • Genomics, Diabetes and Endocrinology


  • ISSN: 1473-5598