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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


BISI MOLINA, Maria del Carmen; CUNHA, Roberto de Sá; HERKENHOFF, Luis Fernando  and  MILL, José Geraldo. Hypertension and salt intake in an urban population. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.6, pp.743-750. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the salt intake and urinary Na+/K+ ratio in a randomized sample from an ethnically mixed urban population. METHODS: A randomized residential sample of 2,268 individuals aged 25-64 in Vitória, ES, was selected, of whom 1,663 (73.3%) reported to the hospital for standardized tests. Salt, Na+ and K+ intake was estimated from 12-hour urine excretion (7 p.m. to 7 a.m.) and from the monthly salt consumption at home reported in the interview. Clinic arterial pressure was measured twice under standard conditions by two trained investigators, using mercury sphygmomanometry. The Student t and Tukey tests were utilized for statistical analysis. RESULTS: Urinary Na+ excretion was higher in men and individuals of lower socioeconomic level (P<0.000). No difference between ethnic groups was observed. K+ excretion was unrelated to socioeconomic level and ethnicity, but was significantly higher among men (25±18 vs. 22±18 mEq/12h; P=0.002). Positive linear correlation was observed between urinary Na+ excretion and systolic (r=0.15) and diastolic (r=0.19) arterial pressure. Hypertensive individuals showed higher urinary Na+ excretion and Na+/K+ ratio than normotensive individuals. Reported salt intake was around 50% of the intake estimated from 12-hour urine collection (around 45% of 24-hour urinary excretion). CONCLUSIONS: Salt intake is strongly influenced by socioeconomic level and may partially explain the higher prevalence of hypertension in lower socioeconomic classes.

Keywords : Sodium chloride [analysis]; Hypertension [epidemiology]; Prevalence; Sodium; Potassium; Socioeconomic factors.

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