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Blood pressure and diurnal variation in sodium, potassium, and water excretion


The objective of this study was to examine associations of blood pressure (BP) with ratios of overnight to 24-h urinary excretion of sodium, potassium, and water. Each of 125 men 27–64 years of age, not taking diuretics, had BP measured during the day on a Monday. Beginning Monday evening, each participant provided three carefully timed 24-h urine collections, divided into daytime and overnight (bedtime to awakening) specimens. Proportion of total 24-h excretion of sodium, potassium, and water in the overnight specimen, standardised for creatinine excretion, was determined for each 24-h period. Associations of systolic and diastolic BP (SBP/DBP) with these proportions were examined with control for age, body mass index, alcohol intake, and heart rate. Mean BP was 116/71 mm Hg; 15 men were on non-diuretic anti-hypertensive therapy. Mean 24-h urinary excretion was 168 mmol for sodium, 68 mmol for potassium, and 16 mmol for creatinine. Mean overnight to 24-h proportions averaged over the 3 days were 30.7% for sodium, 22.0% for potassium, 32.1% for urinary volume, and 33.2% for creatinine. Partial correlations of SBP and DBP with the 3-day averages were 0.257 (P < 0.01) and 0.210 (P < 0.05) for sodium; 0.223 (P < 0.05) and 0.222 (P < 0.05) for potassium; 0.127 and 0.091 for urinary volume; and −0.033 and 0.014 for creatinine. correlations for sodium proportions were larger for the first 24-h period, compared to the second or third 24-h period. these results indicate that higher bp was associated with a relatively greater proportion of sodium and potassium excretion at night. further work is needed to clarify temporal sequence, ie, whether a relatively greater sodium and potassium excretion at night is a risk factor for higher bp (eg, via renal mechanisms), or whether higher bp results in relatively greater sodium and potassium excretion at night, or both.

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Dyer, A., Martin, G., Burton, W. et al. Blood pressure and diurnal variation in sodium, potassium, and water excretion. J Hum Hypertens 12, 363–371 (1998).

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