A low-sodium diet corrects the defect in beta-adrenergic response in older subjects.
BACKGROUND One of the prominent cardiovascular abnormalities in the elderly is reduced beta-adrenoceptor responsiveness. Because dietary sodium restriction corrects the defect in vascular and lymphocyte beta-adrenoceptor responsiveness in hypertensive subjects, we postulated an analogous effect in the elderly. Thus, vascular and lymphocyte beta-adrenergic responsiveness were studied in 10 older normotensive subjects (age, 56 +/- 2 years) on either a 400- or 10-meq/day sodium diet.
METHODS AND RESULTS In older subjects fed a high-sodium diet, maximal isoproterenol-mediated vasodilation was depressed compared with a group of normotensive younger subjects studied previously. When they were fed a low-sodium diet, however, maximal isoproterenol-mediated vasodilation in the elderly was increased significantly. Lymphocyte adenylyl cyclase sensitivity to isoproterenol was comparably increased. Blood pressure was significantly reduced on a low-sodium diet, and mean arterial pressure was significantly inversely correlated with the extent of isoproterenol-mediated vasodilation.
CONCLUSIONS These studies indicate that a low-sodium diet corrects the defect in both vascular and lymphocyte beta-adrenergic responsiveness with aging. This suggests an important role for dietary modification in the adrenergic regulation of vascular tone in the elderly.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association