A pilot survey was made of the dietary calcium intake of normotensive and hypertensive individuals. Compared to 44 normotensive controls, 46 subjects with essential hypertension reported significantly less daily calcium ingestion (668 ± 55 milligrams compared to 886 ± 89 milligrams). The intake of other nutrients, including sodium and potassium, was very similar in the two groups. The hypertensives differed from the controls primarily in their consumption of nonfluid dairy products. The data suggest that inadequate calcium intake may be a previously unrecognized factor in the development of hypertension.
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