(HealthDay News) – Normal stress, such as that associated with a physician visit, can induce sodium retention, and a urine test can be used to identify sodium retainers who may be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions, held from Sept. 11–14 in New Orleans.

Evan A. Mulloy, from the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, and colleagues developed a protocol to identify sodium retention among 19 pediatric patients (aged 10–19 years) in an outpatient clinic. To establish baseline and stress values, urine samples and blood pressure were obtained before and following a normal physician visit.

The researchers found that 44% of the participants (eight patients) were sodium retainers, retaining 3.2mEq/hour, which was equivalent to about 73.5mg of sodium and correlated with an increase of systolic blood pressure of 5.4mmHg during the visit. Hypertension was noted in seven of these eight retainers. Excretors filtered 6.2mEq/hour of sodium, and experienced a small decrease of 0.7mmHg in systolic blood pressure.

“Hypertension is no longer an adult disease,” a coauthor said in a statement. “The results of this test could also provide useful information that could help pediatricians better manage and treat hypertension in their patients.”

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