Sodium intake among people with normal and high blood pressure

Am J Prev Med. 2005 Dec;29(5 Suppl 1):63-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2005.07.008.


Background: The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2400 mg of sodium intake per day for healthy adults. Healthy People 2010 goals are to increase the proportion of persons who consume 2400 mg or less of sodium daily. We examined daily sodium intake among people with and without high blood pressure.

Methods: We used data for participants aged > or = 20 years from the 1999-2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Of 4011 participants included in this analysis, 1673 were identified as hypertensive by self report, with systolic blood pressure > or = 140 mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure > or = 90 mm Hg. Dietary sodium intake was computed from foods and beverages consumed during the 24 hours prior to interview.

Results: Mean sodium intake among participants with and without high blood pressure was 3330 mg/day and 3600 mg/day (geometric means, 2885 mg/day and 3146 mg/day), respectively. The difference between the two groups, using log-transformed sodium intake, was statistically significant (p<0.001). Adjustment for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, smoking, total caloric intake, physical activity, and body mass index resulted in a smaller but significant difference (2992 mg/day and 3089 mg/day, p<0.05). No difference in sodium intake was observed by prescription medication use or advice to reduce sodium among hypertensive participants.

Conclusions: Although participants with hypertension reported lower intake of dietary sodium than those with normal blood pressure, daily intake of sodium was much higher than the recommendations in both groups. Increased efforts are needed to reduce sodium intake to achieve Healthy People 2010 goals.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Healthy People Programs
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Sodium, Dietary / blood*
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Sodium, Dietary