Physical activity reduces salt sensitivity of blood pressure

Casey M. Rebholz, Dongfeng Gu, Jing Chen, Jian Feng Huang, Jie Cao, Ji Chun Chen, Jianxin Li, Fanghong Lu, Jianjun Mu, Jixiang Ma, Dongsheng Hu, Xu Ji, Lydia A. Bazzano, Depei Liu, Jiang He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Salt sensitivity of blood pressure (BP) is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. A dietary feeding study was conducted from October 2003 to July 2005 that included a 7-day low-sodium intervention (51.3 mmol sodium/day) followed by a 7-day high-sodium intervention (307.8 mmol sodium/day) among 1,906 individuals who were 16 years of age or older and living in rural northern China. Salt sensitivity of BP was defined as mean BP change from the low-sodium intervention to the high-sodium intervention. Usual physical activity during the past 12 months was assessed at baseline using a standard questionnaire. The multivariable-adjusted means of systolic BP responses to high-sodium intervention were 5.21 mm Hg (95 confidence interval (CI): 4.55, 5.88), 4.97 mm Hg (95 CI: 4.35, 5.59), 5.02 mm Hg (95 CI: 4.38, 5.67), and 3.96 mm Hg (95 CI: 3.29, 4.63) among participants from the lowest to the highest quartiles of physical activity, respectively (P 0.003 for linear trend). The multivariable-adjusted odds ratio of high salt sensitivity of systolic BP was 0.66 (95 CI: 0.49, 0.88) for persons in the highest quartile of physical activity compared with those in the lowest quartile. Physical activity is significantly, independently, and inversely related to salt sensitivity of BP and may be particularly effective in lowering BP among salt-sensitive individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S106-S113
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue numberSUPPL. 7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • blood pressure
  • dietary sodium
  • physical activity
  • salt sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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