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To investigate average sodium excretion in 24 h urine as a marker for salt intake in the Slovene population.
Salt intake was determined by measuring sodium excretion in 24 h urine collected from a representative sample of geographically diverse Slovene adults.
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.
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).
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.
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