There has been a dramatic increase in hypertension in developing countries along with changes in food consumption patterns contributing to higher levels of sodium. Evidence shows that a high level of sodium intake is a major cause of high blood pressure and other heart diseases along with other associated diseases. Therefore, it is important to determine current consumption levels of sodium in a population to facilitate the development and implementation of any specific salt reduction program.
The study was conducted among 60 subjects (25-45 years) residing in Jaipur City. Subjects’ sodium consumption levels were assessed via assessment of 24-h urinary sodium excretion levels, the “gold standard” method advocated by WHO/PAHO (2010) and 24-h dietary recall for three days including one holiday.
The findings of the study indicated that the subjects were found to be consuming higher levels of sodium (males, 5,792 mg/d; females, 5,911 mg/d) than recommended by WHO, i.e. less than 2,300 mg/d. Completeness of urine was confirmed by fat-free mass determined by electrical bio-impedance (47.6 ± 7.6 kg) and determined by using 24-h urinary excretion of creatinine (33.7 ± 10.1 kg). Two variables were found to be significantly correlated (r = 0.52, p = 0.00). Assuming that the sodium eliminated in the urine comes from the salt only, this excretion would correspond with a dietary salt intake of 14.71 and 15.01 g/d in males and females, respectively. Dietary sodium intake was reported to be 4,133 ± 1,111 mg/day and 3,953 ± 945 mg/d in males and females, respectively. A non-significant difference was found between the two variables. Urinary sodium excretion correlated non-significantly with systolic and diastolic blood pressure figures (r = 0.09 and r = −0.02, respectively).
The limitations of this study included the small sample size. Purposive sampling was adopted due to difficulty in obtaining urine sample and required willingness of the respondent. This may give fair robust estimate.
The present results will help provide new data about the baseline salt intake in young and middle-aged population of Jaipur City and will further help the concerned agencies to plan meaningful strategies to reduce salt intake, and it must involve public education and awareness to change the consumption pattern.
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