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National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Assessment of salt intake from urinary sodium in adults (aged 19 to 64 years) in England, 2018 to 2019

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Ashford, R 
Collins, D 
Earl, K 
Moore, S 


There is an established relationship between salt intake and risk of high blood pressure (hypertension), which is a risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as heart disease and stroke. 1,2,3,4,5 High blood pressure affects approximately 31% of adults in England. 6 Evidence has shown that a reduction in salt intake leads to a lowering of blood pressure, particularly in people with hypertension, and is associated with a decrease in the incidence of CVD. 7 The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recommends a target reduction in the average salt intake of the UK population to a maximum of 6 g/day. 8 This level has been set as the UK government recommended maximum salt intake for adults and children aged 11 years and over. Following publication of the SACN Salt and Health report in 2003, the UK government began a programme of reformulation work with the food industry aimed at reducing the salt content of processed food products. Voluntary salt reduction targets were first set in 2006 for a range of food categories that contribute the most to the population’s salt intakes and further revised in 2009, 2011 and 2014. 9 In this 2018/19 survey, salt intake of adults aged 19 to 64 years in England was estimated from the measurement of 24-hour urinary sodium excretion. Urine samples were collected between November 2018 and May 2019 from 596 adults. Estimated salt intake was calculated based on 17.1 mmol of sodium equalling 1.0 g of salt and assumed all urinary sodium was derived from salt and 100% was excreted over 24 hours. Completeness of the urine collections was assessed using the paraaminobenzoic acid (PABA) method. The survey was powered to detect a 7% decrease in salt intake (equivalent to 0.5 g/day) between the most recent previous England Sodium Survey in 2014 and the current survey in 2018/19. This data helps to establish progress towards meeting the government recommendation8 and build on the series of previous surveys across the UK since 2005/06. 10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18 This report describes population mean estimated salt intake for adults aged 19 to 64 years in England in 2018/19 and provides a comparison with estimated population salt intakes assessed in the previous 2014 England Sodium Survey. 12 An updated analysis of the trend in estimated salt intake over time since 2005/06 is also provided.



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Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) (146281)