1. Stimulation with noise (100 dBA) for 10 min caused a significant increase in diastolic and mean arterial pressure in normotensive subjects with and without a positive family history of hypertension.
2. The blood pressure response in the group with a positive family history of hypertension was due to a significant increase in total peripheral resistance (9%, P < 0.05); no such change was seen in the group without heredity for hypertension.
3. Systolic blood pressure, heart rate, stroke volume and cardiac output did not change significantly during exposure to noise.
4. There was no difference between the groups in mean intracellular sodium concentration measured in erythrocytes.