Sodium excretion and racial differences in ambulatory blood pressure patterns

Gregory A. Harshfield, Bruce S. Alpert, Derrick A. Pulliam, Elaine S. Willey, Grant W. Somes, F. Bruder Stapleton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The influence of Na+ excretion and race on casual blood pressure and ambulatory blood pressure patterns was examined in a biracial sample of healthy, normotensive children and adolescents (10-18 years; n=140). The slopes relating 24-hour urinary Na+ excretion to systolic blood pressure were different for both black and white subjects for casual blood pressure (p<0.001) and blood pressure during sleep (p<0.03). For casual blood pressure, the slope was significant for black subjects (β=0.17; p<0.001) but not for white subjects. For blood pressure during sleep, the slope was again significant for black subjects (β=0.08; p<0.01) but not for white subjects. Na+ excretion was also related to awake levels of systolic blood pressure for black subjects (β=0.08, r=0.36; p<0.01), although the slopes for both black and white subjects were not significantly different. Further analyses indicated the results were not due to racial differences in 24-hour urinary K+ excretion. However, plasma renin activity was marginally related to Na+ excretion in white subjects (r=0.22; p<0.06) but not black subjects, a finding that is consistent with previous studies. Na+ excretion was not associated with diastolic blood pressure or heart rate in either group under any condition. The results of this study support research that has demonstrated a stronger relation between Na+ handling and casual blood pressure in black subjects and extend these findings to blood pressure while the subject is both awake and asleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)813-818
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • Ethnic differences
  • Sodium
  • Sodium-dependent hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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