a1 National Institute of Public Health, Chronic Diseases Prevention Centre CINDI, Zaloška c. 29, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
a2 Medical Faculty, Department of Public Health, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
a3 Research Unit, University Clinic of Pulmonary and Allergic Diseases, Golnik, Slovenia
a4 WHO Collaborating Centre for Nutrition, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
Objective To investigate average sodium excretion in 24 h urine as a marker for salt intake in the Slovene population.
Design Salt intake was determined by measuring sodium excretion in 24 h urine collected from a representative sample of geographically diverse Slovene adults.
Subjects A random sample of 600 adults aged 25–65 years was generated from census data. The effective sample yield was 143 people, 42·7 % men and 57·3 % women.
Results Urinary sodium excretion was significantly higher in men (220·9 (sd 86·0) mmol Na/d) than in women (169·8 (sd 73·8) mmol Na/d); t test = 14·5, P < 0·001. Average salt intake was 11·3 (sd 4·9) g/d, higher in men than in women (13·0 (sd 5·1) v. 9·9 (sd 4·3) g/d, respectively). Average intakes of salt among regions were not significantly different. Salt intake increases slightly with increasing age, but there was no significant correlation between age and salt intake. Salt intake was increased with BMI (r = 0·384, P < 0·001).
Conclusions Salt intake in Slovene adults, especially in men, exceeds the WHO recommended population nutrient intake goal of 5 g by more than twofold. A national programme for reducing salt intake in Slovenia needs to be implemented through systematic efforts including public education and involving the health-care sector and the food industry.
(Received January 20 2009)
(Accepted January 20 2010)
(Online publication March 03 2010)