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Genetic predisposition to salt-sensitive normotension and its effects on salt taste perception and intake

  • Leta Pilic (a1) and Yiannis Mavrommatis (a1)


Salt sensitivity is an independent CVD and mortality risk factor, which is present in both hypertensive and normotensive populations. It is genetically determined and it may affect the relationship between salt taste perception and salt intake. The aim of this study was to explore the genetic predisposition to salt sensitivity in a young and a middle-aged adult population and its effects on salt taste perception and salt intake. The effects of Na loading on blood pressure (BP) were investigated in twenty normotensive subjects and salt sensitivity defined as the change in BP after 7 d of low-Na (51·3 mmol Na/d) and 7 d of high-Na diet (307·8 mmol Na/d). Salt taste perception was identified using the British Standards Institution sensory analysis method (BS ISO 3972:2011). Salt intake was assessed with a validated FFQ. DNA was genotyped for SNP in the SLC4A5, SCNN1B and TRPV1 genes. The subjects with AA genotype of the SLC4A5 rs7571842 exhibited the highest increase in BP (∆ systolic BP=7·75 mmHg, P=0·002, d=2·4; ∆ diastolic BP=6·25 mmHg, P=0·044, d=1·3; ∆ mean arterial pressure=6·5 mmHg, P=0·014, d=1·7). The SLC4A5 rs10177833 was associated with salt intake (P=0·037), and there was an association between salt taste perception and salt sensitivity (rs 0·551, P=0·041). In conclusion, there is a genetic predisposition to salt sensitivity and it is associated with salt taste perception. The association between salt taste perception and discretionary salt use suggests that preference for salty taste may be a driver of salt intake in a healthy population and warrants further investigation.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: L. Pilic, email


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