Trends in 24-h urinary sodium excretion in the United States, 1957-2003: a systematic review

Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Nov;92(5):1172-80. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29367. Epub 2010 Sep 8.


Background: Few studies have examined temporal trends in sodium intake in the US population. Collections of 24-h urine sodium excretions are reliable markers for dietary sodium intake.

Objective: We examined temporal trends in 24-h urine sodium excretions to estimate temporal trends in sodium intake in the US population.

Design: We performed a systematic search of English-language articles in MEDLINE for studies that reported collections of 24-h urine sodium excretions in the United States. We estimated mean urine sodium excretions over time for all studies and demographic subgroups.

Results: We analyzed 38 studies, which dated from 1957 to 2003, and estimated a mean (± SE) 24-h urine sodium excretion per person of 3526 ± 75 mg Na. In a multivariate random-effects model with study year, sex, age, and race, the study year was not associated with any significant change in sodium excretions (coefficient = 154 mg Na · 24 h⁻¹ · 10 y⁻¹; 95% CI: -140, 448 mg Na · 24 h⁻¹ · 10 y⁻¹). In subgroup analyses, there was no significant temporal trend seen in male, female, black, or white study participants.

Conclusion: Sodium intake in the US adult population appears to be well above current guidelines and does not appear to have decreased with time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Diet / trends*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Sodium / urine*
  • Sodium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Sodium, Dietary / metabolism
  • United States


  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Sodium