Salt, Blood Pressure, and You
Physiologist and Physician Qais Al-Awqati
High blood pressure occurs in almost a third of the population. It is well known that it runs in families and recent genetic studies have shown that all Mendelian forms of hypertension are due to mutations in the genes that regulate salt balance by the kidney. There is also a wealth of population studies linking eating a high salt diet to high blood pressure. Despite this mass of scientific evidence political and industrial forces have managed to insert into the public debate that the link is actually controversial. High blood pressure is unequivocally associated with high mortality and morbidity. We will discuss the different types of evidence that links high salt intake to blood pressure and what strategies are there to understand the nature of the evidence that is used and misused in this important public health issue.
Added by Notpeter on January 28, 2010