Assessment of Dietary Sodium and Potassium in Canadians Using 24-Hour Urinary Collection

Can J Cardiol. 2016 Mar;32(3):319-26. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2015.06.020. Epub 2015 Jun 25.


Background: Although salt intake derived from data on urinary sodium excretion in free-living populations has been used in public policy, a population study on urinary sodium excretion has not been done in Canada. We assessed dietary sodium and potassium intake using a 24-hour urine collection in a large survey of urban and rural communities from 4 Canadian cities and determined the association of these electrolytes with blood pressure (BP).

Methods: One thousand seven hundred consecutive individuals, aged 37-72 years, attending their annual follow-up visits of the ongoing Prospective and Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study in Vancouver, Hamilton, Ottawa, and Quebec City, Canada, collected a 24-hour urine sample using standardized procedures.

Results: Mean sodium excretion was 3325 mg/d and mean potassium excretion was 2935 mg/d. Sodium excretion ranged from 3093 mg/d in Vancouver to 3642 mg/d in Quebec City, after adjusting for covariates. Potassium excretion ranged from 2844 mg/d in Ottawa to 3082 mg/d in Quebec City. Both electrolytes were higher in men than in women and in rural populations than in urban settings (P < 0.001 for all). Sodium excretion was between 3000 and 6000 mg/d in 48.3% of the participants, < 3000 mg/d in 46.7%, and > 6000 mg/d in only 5%. No significant association between sodium or potassium excretion and BP was found.

Conclusions: Sodium consumption in these Canadians is within a range comparable to other Western countries, and intake in most individuals is < 6000 mg/d, with only 5% at higher levels. Within this range, sodium or potassium levels were not associated with BP.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Hypertension / urine
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Nutrition Assessment*
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Potassium / urine*
  • Potassium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rural Population
  • Sodium / urine*
  • Sodium, Dietary / administration & dosage*
  • Urban Population
  • Urinalysis


  • Potassium, Dietary
  • Sodium, Dietary
  • Sodium
  • Potassium