Saltwater Pools & Hypertension

Posted by slongcampbell @slongcampbell, Mar 31 1:55pm

Hello, I am looking for reputable resources on the topic of saltwater pools & hypertension. I have seen conflicting information on this topic. Is there a risk for people with hypertension to swim in or own a saltwater pool? Is there a real concern of sodium absorption through skin this way? I found many blogs on this, however nothing reputable. Appreciate any information on this topic. Thank you

Hello @slongcambell, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You would think there would be more information on this topic but like you I couldn't find much. I loved going to the beach in Southern California as a teenager and swimming in the ocean although you definitely feel the need to take a fresh water shower and not let the salt water dry on you. I did find an interesting older study on building salt water pools to improve the health of remote Aboriginal people in Australia.

“Syndrome x: The Silent Plague Threatening the World’s Oldest Culture” by Jeff McMullen on the chronic illnesses threatening Indigenous Australians. Published in Balayi Culture, Law and Colonialism, University of Technology Sydney, May 2005.:

The article was listed on the authors website –

I original found it with a combination of keyword searches on Google Scholar:

Also found this which I'm thinking you might have already seen – It does make sense but like you, I'm not sure how reputable it is coming from what is mostly an ad in my mind.
"First of all, from what I’ve read, salt is even not able to be absorbed through the skin. Dissolved salts in water become ions, and ions do not easily pass through cellular membranes or human skin ( So, the concern would only be with consumption of the pool water through the mouth while swimming. Who does that on purpose?

Neither the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute nor the Mayo Clinic make mention of swimming in saltwater increasing the risk of high blood pressure. In fact, the physical activity of swimming, whether it be in chlorinated or salt water, is more likely to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and has other health benefits. In my mind, exercising in the water has benefits that far outweigh the risk of accidentally drinking so much pool water that it would cause hypertension. " — Excerpt from LinkedIn article –

I also have hypertension (Primary aldosteronism diagnosis) and have never heard anything about safety and swimming in a salt water pool. Have you asked your doctor for their thoughts based on your condition?

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