Neonatal diuretic therapy may not alter children's preference for salt taste

Micah Leshem, Mouna Maroun, Zalman Weintraub

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human neonates are occasionally treated with diuretics, and we investigated whether this causes a long-term enhancement of salt preference. Salt preference was examined in children aged 4-11 years. Twenty one of the children had received furosemide therapy as preterm neonates, and 24 were preterm neonates from the same ward that had no furosemide therapy. No differences were found between the two groups in preferred concentration of NaCl in soup, in consumption of salty items, and in blood and urine sodium and creatinine. However, in a tested subsample, fractional excretion of sodium (FE(Na)) was higher in the neonatally treated children, suggesting increased salt intake. Reported severity of morning sickness in the mother when pregnant with the child, the child's history of diarrhoea and vomiting and degree of dietary salt exposure were obtained by questionnaire. These variables also did not influence salt preference, or blood and urine sodium and creatinine, except for a correlation between dietary salt exposure and blood sodium concentration. We conclude that while the physiological evidence suggests increased salt intake in children treated neonatally with furosemide, more sensitive tests of salt preference at this age are required to reveal any influence early mineralofluid loss may have on salt preference in childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1998

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are very grateful to Dr Mohammed Mahajneh for his valuable advice and for collecting the blood samples, and to an anonymous reviewer for Appetite who suggested a detailed analysis of sodium excretion. Some of these data were presented at the 4th meeting of the Israel Society for Neuroscience, Eilath, 1995. Supported by USA–Israel Binational Foundation grant No. 89-00261 to Micah Leshem, Alan Epstein, and Eliot Stellar.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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