Awareness is one of the first steps in a lifestyle modification process. Since older adults are at a higher risk of hypertension, maintaining low sodium intake is of utmost importance. Yet, it is uncertain if older adults have an awareness of their sodium intake. This study aimed to explore self-perceived sodium intake among older Chinese people and compare it with various measures of sodium intake. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Hong Kong in 2015. Data were collected from 24-h urinary sodium excretion (UNa24) measurements, dietary sodium intake by 24-h diet recalls and self-perceived salt intake levels among the older Hong Kong population. Kappa statistics and a paired t-test were used to compare the different measures. Fifty-nine participants provided complete 24-h urine samples. The mean (±SD) UNa24 of participants was 2846 ± 1253 mg, of which 74.6% exceeded the recommended daily sodium intake. About 87.8% of participants with UNa24 values >2000 mg perceived their sodium intake as too little or just right. The kappa statistic between UNa24 and self-perception was insignificantly different from zero (κ = −0.003, p-value = 0.909). The UNa24 estimates were significantly higher than those estimated from the 24-h diet recalls by 1203 mg (p-value <0.001). The findings imply that the low awareness of excessive sodium intake should be raised among older people to promote a healthy intake of sodium.
- urinary sodium excretion
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