Interventions and public health nutrition

Validation of an easy questionnaire on the assessment of salt habit: the MINISAL-SIIA Study Program

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The aim of the present study was to validate a short questionnaire on habitual dietary salt intake, to quickly and easily identify individuals whose salt consumption exceeds recommended levels.


A total of 1131 hypertensive subjects participating in the MINISAL-SIIA study were included in the analysis. Anthropometric indexes, blood pressure, and 24-h urinary sodium excretion (NaU) were measured. A fixed-sequence questionnaire on dietary salt intake was administered.


NaU was significantly associated with scores, with a linear association across categories (p for trend <0.0001). In addition, participants who achieved a total score above the median value (eight points) had significantly higher NaU than those whose score was below median (p < 0.0001). In the total sample, the prevalence of “high NaU” (NaU > 85 mmol/day) and “very high NaU” (NaU > 170 mmol/day) was 86 and 35%, respectively. The score of the questionnaire had a significant ability to detect both “high NaU”—with a specificity of 95% at the score of 10 points—and “very high NaU”—with a specificity of 99.6% at score of 13 points.


The main results of the study indicates that a higher score of this short questionnaire is distinctive of habitual high salt consumption in hypertensive patients.

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The MINISAL-SIIA is a working group of Italian Society of Hypertension (SIIA) and part of the MINISAL-GIRCSI Program, funded by the Italian Ministry of Health (Ministero della Salute) Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CCM) within the framework of the Program Guadagnare Salute (coordinator, Dr. Daniela Galeone).

Author contributions

Conception and design: GF. Analysis and interpretation of the data: D’EL, GF. Drafting of the article: D’EL, MM, SP, GF. Final approval of the article: Minisal Group. Statistical expertise: D’EL, GF. Collection and assembly of data: D’EL, MM, GF.


Coordinator: Galletti F., Collaborators: Agabiti-Rosei E., Arcangeli E., Artom A., Barbato A., Barbiero M., Belfiore A., Bernini G., Boero R., Berra E., Biggi A., Borgheresi P., Borghi C., Bosio A., Caiazza A., Caielli P., Caló L.A., Castellano M., Catena C., Cerrato F., Cilia C., Cipollini F., Crippa M., Cuspidi C., D’Elia L., D’Avino M., De Giorgi G.A., De Luca N., De Pergola G., Del Giudice A., Desideri G., Fallo F., Ferri C., Galeone D., Garavelli G., Gaudio G., Giacchetti G., Gidaro B., Giovannetti R., Grandi A., Guglielmi M., Iacoviello L., Leonardis D., Lonati C., Lonati L.M., Malatino L., Mallamaci F., Manfredi M., Maresca A.M., Marzano L., Massara C., Merletti L., Meschi M., Modesti S., Montanari A., Morganti A., Musiari L., Musso N., Nardecchia A., Nazzaro P., Pallisco O., Panichi V., Parati G., Pascale C., Pini C., Pirola I., Pucci G., Rabbia F., Rescaldani M., Ronchi E., Rossi E., Rossi G., Sala C., Sarzani R., Sechi L.A., Silvestris F., Stancanelli B., Strazzullo P., Trimarco B., Ungar A., Veglio F., Veronesi M., Vinella L.

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Correspondence to F. Galletti.

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Conflict of interest

GF is member of the advisory board of the Italian Society of Hypertension. SP is President of the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, Scientific Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Working Group for Reduction of Salt Intake in Italy (GIRCSI), member of the committee for the preparation of the Italian Nutritional Guidelines and an unpaid member of WASH (World Action in Salt and Health). The remaining authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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The members of the Group are listed below Acknowledgements.

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D’Elia, L., Manfredi, M., Strazzullo, P. et al. Validation of an easy questionnaire on the assessment of salt habit: the MINISAL-SIIA Study Program. Eur J Clin Nutr 73, 793–800 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41430-018-0204-0

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