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Electrolyte monitoring in the management of essential hypertension
Serum levels of sodium and potassium were estimated by flame atomic emission spectroscopy and calcium spectrophotometrically by using o-cresolpthalein complexone reaction in 140 newly-diagnosed in-patients with essential hypertension both before and after treatment. Eighty normotensives matched for age and gender were used as controls. In this study it was observed that there was only a slight correlation between the plasma sodium and calcium levels and diastolic pressure with no statistically significant difference between hypertensives and the control group. There was an inverse correlation between potassium levels and blood pressure (r = -0.023). There was a positive correlation between the plasma sodium levels and elevated blood pressures (r = 0.32). This is in conformity with the observation that high levels of potassium are associated with reduced blood pressure .The study, therefore, suggests that whilst potassium monitoring may be necessary in hypertensive management, therapeutic altering of plasma sodium and calcium levels as a means of managing essential hypertension may not be necessary.
JOURNAL OF THE GHANA SCIENCE ASSOCIATION Volume 2 No. 1 (2000) pp. 18-22