We performed an epidemiological study on the atrial natriuretic factor pattern in a young population. Subjects were recruited in the Ospedale Militare Principale of Rome among young men liable to conscription, whose hospitalization was due either to essential hypertension or to other pathologies (not influencing our study, such as headache etc.). The recruitment lead to the formation of three different groups: normotensives, normotensives with family history of hypertension (mother and/or father) and hypertensives. On the morning of the study (after 7 days of pharmacological wash-out, under a diet containing 120 mEq of Na+/die), blood samples were taken. Plasma atrial natriuretic factor, renin activity and aldosterone were assayed by RIA. Digoxin-like immunoreactive substance was assayed by a solid-phase radioimmunoassay, following the extraction of plasma. Serum creatinine, sodium, potassium and urinary sodium and potassium (24 h before the study) were assayed by standard methods. Urinary kallikrein was assayed by chromogenic substrate S-2266. So far, we have studied 60 subjects (26 hypertensives, 21 normotensives and 13 normotensives with family history) and we wish to discuss in this article the preliminary results concerning the atrial natriuretic factor and its relationship with renin activity, aldosterone and blood pressure. Our results show that the mean plasma levels of atrial natriuretic factor in the hypertensive group were higher, although not significantly, than those of the other two groups and that the normotensives with family history had slightly higher levels as compared to normotensives (Delta % = + 7.4).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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