Estimating Salt Intake by Citizens of Kosovo Using 24-Hour Urine Sodium Excretion

Lindita Maxhuni-Thaçi, Tahire Maloku-Gjergji, Burbuqe Nushi-Latifi, Valmira Maxhuni-Bajgora

International Journal of Biomedicine. 2022;12(4):631-635.
DOI: 10.21103/Article12(4)_OA20
Originally published December 5, 2022


Background: The minimum physiological need for sodium is estimated to be 200-500 mg/day (about 0.5-1.25 g of salt per day) (WHO, 2012). Many studies have shown that salt consumption is the main factor in increasing blood pressure (BP) and cardiovascular disease cases.
Methods and Results: This transversal cross-sectional study was performed in Kosovo in 2019. The study included 219 people of both sexes (49.9% men and 50.2% women) aged 20–59 years. Urine was collected within 24 hours in accordance with the written instructions, and an oral explanation was provided to each research participant. Na and K in urine were analyzed using SmartLyte® autoanalyzer (Diamond Diagnostics, Holliston, Massachusetts, USA). Our results showed that the average urinary Na excretion over 24 hours in the Kosovo population was 9.52 g/day, which corresponds to a daily salt intake of 23.8 g/day. The average amount of urinary Na excreted in 24 hours was significantly higher in men (11.60 g/24h) than in women (7.46 g/24h) (P<0.001). Thus, the average amount of salt consumed by participants was 29.46g/day for men and 18.94 g/day for women. The average urinary K excretion over 24 hours in men was 2.02 g/day, while that in women was 1.61 g/day (P=0.000). The Na/K ratio was significantly higher in men (6.58) than in women (5.27) (P<0.05).
Conclusion: the citizens of Kosovo consume a large amount of salt, greater than 5g/day. In Kosovo, there has yet to be a comprehensive strategy for reducing salt consumption.

salt • urine • sodium • potassium

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Received October 16, 2022.
Accepted November 13, 2022.
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