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Estimate of total salt intake in two regions of Belgium through analysis of sodium in 24-h urine samples



To evaluate total salt intake in the adult population through an analysis of sodium in 24-h urine samples in two regions of Belgium.


Urine samples were collected over 24 h from participants and they had to complete a specific questionnaire about salt intake afterwards. Sodium and creatinine concentrations were analysed in these samples.


The target population comprised adults aged 45–65 years in the region of Ghent and Liege. A total of 123 and 157 volunteers from Ghent and Liege, respectively, were included in the study.


The mean creatinine level in Flanders (n=114) amounted to 0.173±0.035 mmol/kg/day, whereas in the Walloon region (n=135) it amounted to 0.161±0.036 mmol/kg/day, after the exclusion of subjects with incomplete urine collection. Intake of sodium in Flanders (n=114) was 4.29±1.29 g/day, whereas in the Walloon region (n=135) it was 3.94±1.44 g/day. In both regions, sodium intake in men was higher than in women.


Salt intake was more or less twice as high as the recommended intake. Salt intake as estimated from 24-h urine collections is substantially higher than that previously calculated on the basis of food consumption data. A salt reduction programme for Belgium is primordial.

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The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Federal Public Service of Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment.

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Correspondence to S Vandevijvere.

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Vandevijvere, S., De Keyzer, W., Chapelle, JP. et al. Estimate of total salt intake in two regions of Belgium through analysis of sodium in 24-h urine samples. Eur J Clin Nutr 64, 1260–1265 (2010).

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  • salt intake
  • urine samples
  • Belgium

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