Salt intake among Iranian population: the first national report on salt intake in Iran

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Abstract

Objective:

In Iran, there has been no national report on salt intake based on laboratory measurements so far. Therefore, this study was conducted to measure salt intake among Iranian population at the national level.

Methods:

In stepwise approach to conduct a surveillance survey 2016, 18 624 Iranian adults (25 years old and above), as a representative sample of Iranian adult population at national and subnational levels, underwent urine sodium measurement and were included in this study. The participants were recruited through a systematic random sampling from 30 provinces of Iran. For each individual, through a computer-assisted interview, a questionnaire on lifestyle risk factors was completed, all anthropometric indices were measured, and data on sodium of spot urine sample for all individuals and 24-h urine sample for a subsample were collected. To estimate the 24-h salt intake, common equations were used.

Results:

In total, 97.66% of the population consumed at least 5 g of salt per day. In addition, in 41.20% of the population, the level of salt intake was at least two times higher than the level recommended by the WHO for adults. The mean of salt intake among Iranian population was 9.52 g/day (95% confidence interval: 9.48–9.56).

Conclusion:

The study showed that the consumption of salt among the Iranian population is higher than the level recommended by WHO. To reduce salt intake, it is necessary to adopt a combination of nationwide policies such as food reformulation and food labelling.

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