Sodium-lithium countertransport and blood pressure in healthy blood donors

Stephen T. Turner, Mark Johnson, Eric Boerwinkle, Elliott Richelson, Howard F. Taswell, Charles F. Sing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Studies finding an increased maximal rate of Na-Li countertransport in red blood cells from persons with essential hypertension and their normotensive offspring have raised the possibility that Na-Li countertransport may serve as a marker for the genetic predisposition to hypertension. We studied Na-Li countertransport in 238 randomly selected blood donors representative of the population of Rochester, Minnesota. The mean value (± SD) for Na-Li countertransport in units of mmoles of lithium efflux per liter of red blood cells per hour was 0.29 ± 0.12. The distribution of Na-Li countertransport values among the donors was continuous. An analysis for multimodality, however, detected significant evidence of bimodality with 72 % of the population predicted to belong to the lower mode with a mean of 0.24 mmol/L red blood cells per hour and 28% of the population to belong to the upper mode with a mean of 0.42 mmol/L red blood cells per hour. There was a positive association between Na-Li countertransport and blood pressure; after adjustment for weight and age, Na-Li countertransport predicted approximately 3% of the variation in blood pressure. Persons belonging to the upper mode of the Na-Li countertransport distribution may be at increased risk of acquiring elevated blood pressure as they age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-962
Number of pages8
JournalDimensions of Critical Care Nursing
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1985


  • Hypertension
  • Membrane transport
  • Red blood cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency
  • Critical Care


Dive into the research topics of 'Sodium-lithium countertransport and blood pressure in healthy blood donors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this