Wednesday 11th January 2012
Scientists have debunked a widely held belief of doctors and those in locum cardiology work about the link between salt and hypertension.
By reviewing previous studies, the team showed that hypertension is caused by excessive consumption and retention of salt that stimulates the brain's sympathetic nervous system to increase adrenaline production.
This additional adrenaline then causes the arteries to constrict, restricting blood flow and decreasing circulatory volume.
Irene Gavras, physician in Boston Medical Centre's Hypertension practice, said: "The purpose of this paper is to correct an erroneous concept that has prevailed for many years, even though scientific evidence has mounted against it."
The research debunks the previous theory that the link between salt and hypertension is as a result of increased blood volume, which exerted extra pressure on the arteries, causing high blood pressure.
Ms Gavras went on to say that the findings show that diuretics and drugs which block the central sympathetic nervous system could be the optimal treatment for renal failure associated cases of hypertension.
The Blood Pressure Association has indicated that if a person has a level between 140 and 190 systolic they are more susceptible to being a victim of strokes or heart attacks.
Written by Angela Newbury