The Impact of High Dietary Sodium Consumption on Blood Pressure Variability in Healthy, Young Adults

Kamila U. Migdal, Matthew C. Babcock, Austin T. Robinson, Joseph C. Watso, Megan M. Wenner, Sean D. Stocker, William B. Farquhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: High sodium (Na+) intake augments blood pressure variability (BPV) in normotensive rodents, without changes in resting blood pressure (BP). Augmented BPV is associated with end-organ damage and cardiovascular morbidity. It is unknown if changes in dietary Na+ influence BPV in humans. We tested the hypothesis that high Na+ feeding would augment BPV in healthy adults. METHODS: Twenty-one participants (10 F/11 M; 26 ± 5 years; BP: 113 ± 11/62 ± 7 mm Hg) underwent a randomized, controlled feeding study that consisted of 10 days of low (2.6 g/day), medium (6.0 g/day), and high (18.0 g/day) salt diets. On the ninth day of each diet, 24-h urine samples were collected and BPV was calculated from 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring. On the tenth day, in-laboratory beat-to-beat BPV was calculated during 10 min of rest. Serum electrolytes were assessed. We calculated average real variability (ARV) and standard deviation (SD) as metrics of BPV. As a secondary analysis, we calculated central BPV from the 24-h ambulatory BP monitoring. RESULTS: 24-h urinary Na+ excretion (low = 41 ± 24, medium = 97 ± 43, high = 265 ± 92 mmol/24 h, P < 0.01) and serum Na+ (low = 140.0 ± 2.1, medium = 140.7 ± 2.7, high = 141.7 ± 2.5 mmol/l, P = 0.009) increased with greater salt intake. 24-h ambulatory ARV (systolic BP ARV: low = 9.5 ± 1.7, medium = 9.5 ± 1.2, high = 10.0 ± 1.9 mm Hg, P = 0.37) and beat-to-beat ARV (systolic BP ARV: low = 2.1 ± 0.6, medium = 2.0 ± 0.4, high = 2.2 ± 0.8 mm Hg, P = 0.46) were not different. 24-h ambulatory SD (systolic BP: P = 0.29) and beat-to-beat SD (systolic BP: P = 0.47) were not different. There was a trend for a main effect of the diet (P = 0.08) for 24-h ambulatory central systolic BPV. CONCLUSIONS: Ten days of high sodium feeding does not augment peripheral BPV in healthy, adults. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION: NCT02881515.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-429
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Hypertension
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 29 2020


  • blood pressure
  • blood pressure variability
  • central blood pressure variability
  • hypertension
  • salt

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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