Forrester, Terrence E. ; Adeyemo, Adebowale A.; Soarres-Wynter, Suzanne; Sargeant, Lincoln A.; Bennett, Franklyn I.; Wilks, Rainford J.; Luke, Amy; Prewitt, E.; Kramer, Holly; Cooper, Richard S.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Tropical Medicine Research Institute; Department of Pathology
A randomized trial on sodium reduction in two developing countries
Journal of human hypertension
Date of Publication
Hypertension remains the most common cardiovascular risk factor in developing countries, yet the majority of patients have no access to pharmacological therapy. Population-wide preventive strategies, such as salt restriction, are an attractive alternative, but experience in resource-poor settings in limited. To address this question, we conducted a randomized crossover study of salt restriction in adults living in Nigeria and Jamaica in order to estimate the mean blood pressure (BP) response. After a 4-week run-in period to determine willingness to adhere to a low salt diet, 56 Jamaicans and 58 Nigerians completed an 8-week crossover study of low-salt and high-salt intake. Baseline BPs were in the normotensive range (systolic = 125 mm Hg in Jamaica, 114 mm Hg in Nigeria). Baseline urinary sodium excretion was 86.8 and 125.6 mEq/day in Nigerian and Jamaica, respectively. The mean difference between urinary sodium excretion at baseline and at the end of the 3-week low-sodium phase was 33.6 mEq/day in Nigeria and 57.5 mEq/day in Jamaica. During the high-sodium phase, mean change in urinary sodium excretion from baseline to week 3 was 35.0 and 5.5mEq/day in Nigeria and Jamaica, respectively. The mean change in systolic BP ('high' vs. 'low' sodium phase) was approximately 5 mmHg in both groups. This study suggests that the efficacy of sodium reduction in developing countries equals those noted in more affluent cultures. If promoted on a wide scale, sodium reduction could be used to treat persons with established hypertension, and more importantly, to prevent age-related increases in BP in poor communities.....