Babies fond of salt have higher blood pressure, a granny with hypertension

ording device connected to a specially designed nipple that delivers microdrops of the fluid at a time.

Blood pressures in the groups aversive salt taste response, preferential response, and neutral response were measured and compared.

Sixty-seven of the 234 babies available for follow-up blood pressure measurements at one- month had preferential salt responses. Compared to babies with aversive responses to salt, diastolic blood pressure averaged 3.1 mmHg higher and systolic blood pressures averaged 3.3 mmHg higher in babies who demonstrated a salt preference. The systolic pressure is the first or higher number in a blood pressure reading while diastolic, the second number, is the lower number.

In newborns with a salt preference who also had a grandparent being treated for high blood pressure, their average diastolic pressure was 5.0 mmHg higher and average systolic pressure was 6.7 mmHg higher than babies with an aversive response. At one month of age, blood pressures were still 3.8 to 9.6 mm Hg higher in these babies who had preferential responses as newborns.

Hypertension experts have linked salt intake to high blood pressure in some adults, especially those who are considered salt-sensitive, meaning that even low levels of salt trigger increases in blood pressure, but Zinner cautions against making the leap from salt taste response in infancy to hypertension in adults.

He says it is would be premature to suggest that neonatal testing can identify individuals at risk for adult hypertension.


Contact: Carole Bullock
American Heart Association

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