Detecting sodium-sensitivity in hypertensive patients: Information from 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring

Paolo Castiglioni, Gianfranco Parati, Lorenzo Brambilla, Valerio Brambilla, Massimo Gualerzi, Marco Di Rienzo, Paolo Coruzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sodium sensitivity is an important cardiovascular risk factor for which a diagnosis requires a time-consuming protocol, the implementation of which is often challenging for patients and physicians. Our aim was to assess the reliability of an easier approach based on data from 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring performed in hypertensive subjects during daily-life conditions and habitual diet. We enrolled 46 mild to moderate hypertensive subjects who underwent 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring during usual sodium intake. Patients were divided into 3 classes of sodium sensitivity risk on the basis of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring data: low risk if dippers and a 24-hour heart rate ≤70 bpm; high risk if nondippers and a 24-hour heart rate of >70 bpm; intermediate risk with the remaining combinations (dippers with heart rate >70 bpm or nondippers with heart rate ≤70 bpm). Then patients underwent a traditional sodium sensitivity test for the dichotomous classification as sodium sensitive or sodium resistant and for evaluating the sodium sensitivity index. Prevalence of sodium-sensitive patients and mean value of sodium sensitivity index were calculated in the 3 risk classes. The sodium sensitivity index markedly and significantly increased from the low-risk to the high-risk class, being equal to 19.9±14.4, 37.8±8.3, and 68.3±17.0 mm Hg/(mol/day) in the low-risk, intermediate-risk, and high-risk classes, respectively (M±SEM). Also, the prevalence of sodium-sensitive patients increased significantly from the low-risk class (25%) to the intermediate-risk (40%) and high-risk (70%) classes. Thus, performance of 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring in daily-life conditions and habitual diet may give useful information on the sodium sensitivity condition of hypertensive subjects in an easier manner than with the traditional sodium sensitivity test approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-185
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011



  • ambulatory blood pressure monitoring
  • hypertension
  • salt sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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