• Harshfield, Gregory A (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The blood pressure of a significant percentage of the hypertensive
population, and the normotensive population at a high risk for the
development of hypertension (Blacks and older individuals), is sodium
(salt)-dependent. That is to say, increasing the intake of salt will
increase blood pressure in these individuals; conversely, and more
importantly, decreasing the intake of salt will reduce blood pressure.
The long-term objective of this research is to understand the
mechanism(s) underlying sodium-dependent blood pressure control, and to
determine the consequences thereof. We believe that the mechanisms are
only indirectly linked to race, sex, and age. Our research is consistent
with the hypothesis that sodium-dependent blood pressure control results
from decreased responsiveness of the renal and adrenal blood pressure
regulatory systems. This produces abnormal daily blood pressure
patterns, with reduced fluctuation resulting in extended periods of
increased blood pressure. The increased cardiovascular load leads to the
early development of cardiovascular and renal disease, including
hypertension. We will test this hypothesis by identifying "high risk"
and "normal risk" subjects based on renal responses to sodium
restriction. The subjects (n=200) will be equal numbers of healthy males
and females, Blacks and Whites between the ages of 55-70 years. Using
an innovative new approach, we will then examine the influence of risk
status on 24-hour patterns of blood pressure, hormonal activity, and
sodium handling. Finally, we will determine the clinical significance
of the profiles by examining changes in cardiac and renal status at a
two-year follow-up.
Effective start/end date1/1/9312/31/96


  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health


  • Medicine(all)


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