Salt restriction lowers blood pressure at rest and during exercise without altering peripheral hemodynamics in hypertensive individuals

Stephen M. Ratchford, Ryan M. Broxterman, D. Taylor La Salle, Oh Sung Kwon, Song Young Park, Paul N. Hopkins, Russell S. Richardson, Joel D. Trinity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Dietary salt restriction is a well-established approach to lower blood pressure and reduce cardiovascular disease risk in hypertensive individuals. However, little is currently known regarding the effects of salt restriction on central and peripheral hemodynamic responses to exercise in those with hypertension. Therefore, this study sought to determine the impact of salt restriction on the central and peripheral hemodynamic responses to static-intermittent handgrip (HG) and dynamic single-leg knee extension (KE) exercise in individuals with hypertension. Twenty-two subjects (14 men and 8 women, 51 ± 10 yr, 173 ± 11 cm, 99 ± 23 kg) forewent their antihypertensive medication use for at least 2 wk before embarking on a 5-day liberal salt (LS: 200 mmol/day) diet followed by a 5-day restricted salt (RS: 10 mmol/day) diet. Subjects were studied at rest and during static intermittent HG exercise at 15, 30, and 45% of maximal voluntary contraction and KE exercise at 40, 60, and 80% of maximum KE work rate. Salt restriction lowered resting systolic blood pressure (supine: -12 ± 12 mmHg, seated: -17 ± 12 mmHg) and diastolic blood pressure (supine: -3 ± 9 mmHg, seated: -5 ± 7 mmHg, P < 0.05). Despite an ∼8 mmHg lower mean arterial blood pressure during both HG and KE exercise following salt restriction, neither central nor peripheral hemodynamics were altered. Therefore, salt restriction can lower blood pressure during exercise in subjects with hypertension, reducing the risk of cardiovascular events, without impacting central and peripheral hemodynamics during either arm or leg exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H1194-H1202
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019


  • Blood flow
  • Essential hypertension
  • Handgrip exercise
  • Knee extension exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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