Vol 24, No 4 (2020)
Published online: 2020-09-07

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Salt and arterial hypertension — epidemiological, pathophysiological and preventive aspects

Stanisław Surma1, Anna Szyndler2, Krzysztof Narkiewicz2
Arterial Hypertension 2020;24(4):148-158.


Arterial hypertension in majority of cases is the result of a poor lifestyle. The table salt intake level has changed over the centuries. In populations characterized by a low level of daily salt consumption, hypertension was a rarity and cardiovascular diseases were much less common. More and more food is sold in processed form, and thus containing large amounts of salt. The amount of salt delivered with food significantly exceeds the actual body’s needs. Limitation of salt intake should apply to both prevention of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases as well as treatment of people suffering from hypertension. High sodium intake leads to increased systolic and diastolic pressure, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease as well as other diseases such as stomach cancer etc. There are many mechanisms triggered by excessive intake of table salt that lead to an increase in blood pressure. Excess salt adversely affects the entire human body, and in particular the kidneys and blood vessels. National and International Scientific Societies have developed many documents in the form of guidelines on the optimal daily sodium intake. Compliance with the recommendations and limitation of salt intake may significantly reduce the incidence of hypertension in the general population.

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