Theme of study
Higher sodium intake can cause death.
Sodium is notoriously hard to measure.
You often don’t know how much of Sodium you’re eating, which makes it hard to estimate how much a person has consumed from a dietary questionnaire.
How to measure the Sodium intake
Sodium intake can be measured using a spot test to determine how much salt has been excreted in a person’s urine sample.
However, sodium levels in urine can fluctuate throughout the day so an accurate measure of a person’s sodium intake on a given day requires a full 24-hour sample.
In addition, sodium consumption may change every day, as the best way to get a full picture of sodium intake is to take samples on multiple days.
Studies have used spot samples and assessed sodium intake in multiple ways, including estimates based on that formula as well as ones based on the gold-standard method, which uses the average of multiple, non-consecutive urine samples.
The researchers assessed results for participants in the Trials of Hypertension Prevention, which included nearly 3,000 individuals with pre-hypertension.
The method showed a direct linear relationship between increased sodium intake and increased risk of death.
Result of study
Both low levels and high levels of sodium consumption were associated with increased mortality.