Accurately collected 24-hour urine collections are presumed to be valid for estimating salt intake in individuals. We performed 2 independent ultralong-term salt balance studies lasting 105 (4 men) and 205 (6 men) days in 10 men simulating a flight to Mars. We controlled dietary intake of all constituents for months at salt intakes of 12, 9, and 6 g/d and collected all urine. The subjects' daily menus consisted of 27 279 individual servings, of which 83.0% were completely consumed, 16.5% completely rejected, and 0.5% incompletely consumed. Urinary recovery of dietary salt was 92% of recorded intake, indicating long-term steady-state sodium balance in both studies. Even at fixed salt intake, 24-hour urine collection for sodium excretion (UNaV) showed infradian rhythmicity. We defined a ±25 mmol deviation from the average difference between recorded sodium intake and UNaV as the prediction interval to accurately classify a 3-g difference in salt intake. Because of the biological variability in UNaV, only every other daily urine sample correctly classified a 3-g difference in salt intake (49%). By increasing the observations to 3 consecutive 24-hour collections and sodium intakes, classification accuracy improved to 75%. Collecting seven 24-hour urines and sodium intake samples improved classification accuracy to 92%. We conclude that single 24-hour urine collections at intakes ranging from 6 to 12 g salt per day were not suitable to detect a 3-g difference in individual salt intake. Repeated measurements of 24-hour UNaV improve precision. This knowledge could be relevant to patient care and the conduct of intervention trials.
Keywords: dietary; hypertension; salt; sodium; urine specimen collection.
© 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.