Mal J Nutr 20(3): 317 - 326, 2014

Sodium Intake among Normotensive Health Staff Assessed by 24-Hour Urinary Excretion: A Cross-sectional Study
Rashidah Yeo PS2, Noor Ani A3, Muhammad Fadhli MY4, Tahir A5, Feisul Idzwan M6, Ahmad Ali Z2, Suhaila AG2, AzIi B2, Viola M6, Zainal A06, Ruhaya S6 & Madihah M6

ABSTRACT

Introduction: High sodium consumption over an extended period of time has been associated with hypertension, stroke, cardiovascular disease, renal damage, and other adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine urinary sodium excretion and consequently estimate dietary sodium consumption among normotensive health staff in Malaysia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted to acquire data on sodium excretion among normotensive Ministry of Health staff aged 20 - 56 years (mean age 35.08, SD 9.78) in 14 states and a research institute. Respondents were recruited using quota sampling. Data collection was conducted from December 2011 to February 2012. A single urine sample was collected over 24 hours for sodium concentrations and calculated as 95.0% of total daily sodium intake.
Results: Among the 471 enrolled respondents, 445 (94.0%) provided complete information on socio-demography and urine samples. Mean urine sodium excretion was 142.0 mmol/day (SD 71.7), which is equivalent to 3429 mg sodium/day or 8.7 gm of salt intake (1.75 teaspoon, which exceeds the Malaysian recommendation of 2000 mg sodium/ day by 1.7 times. About 79.0% (n=353) of respondents (88.0% male and 73.0% female) had daily sodium consumption that was above the recommendation. Excretion was significantly higher among males at 161.7 mmol/day (SD 78.1) (3726 mg sodium/day) than females, 125.3 mmol/day (SD 61.1) (2875 mg/day). There was a positive, low correlation between BMI and sodium intake (r=0.216, p<0.001) and between age and sodium intake (r=0.083, p=0.040)
Conclusion: Daily sodium intake among health staff studied was much higher than the current recommendation. A more comprehensive educational programme should be implemented to positively influence staff towards the need to reduce sodium consumption.

Keywords: 24-h urine sodium, dietary sodium, salt intake, sodium intake, urinary sodium excretion

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