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To prevent and treat hypertension, it is important to restrict salt in one's diet since adolescence. However, an effective salt-reduction education system has yet to be established. Besides accurate evaluation, we believe that the frequent usage of a measurement device may motivate individuals to avoid high salt intake.
The present study evaluated the use of a urinary salt excretion measurement device for salt-reduction education.
Study Design, Setting, Participants
The present study evaluated the use of a urinary salt excretion measurement device for salt-reduction education in a parallel randomized trial of 2 groups. The sample comprised 100 university students. The participants were divided into 2 groups: control (51 participants) and self-monitoring group (49 participants). Participants in the self-monitoring group measured their own urinary salt excretion level for 4 weeks, using the self-measurement device while the control group did not. Before and after this intervention, “measurable outcomes” (24-hour urinary salt excretion level; and sodium/potassium ratio (Na/K)) were evaluated in addition to “characteristics” (changes in the dietary behavior stage) in both groups.
At baseline, there was no significant difference between the 2 groups in terms of their characteristics and measurable outcome. After intervention, 24-hour urinary Na/K showed no change in the control group, but it decreased significantly in the self-monitoring group [baseline score: 4.0 ± 1.7, endline score: 3.5 ± 1.4, P = .044]. At the endline of the distribution of eating behavior stage, no difference was found in the control group, but a significant increase was found in the self-monitoring group. These changes were significant even after adjusting for baseline and endline differences between groups using analysis of covariance.
The self-monitoring urinary salt excretion measurement device improved the 24-hour urinary Na/K and the distribution of eating behavior stage. The device is a useful and practical tool for educating young individuals about dietary salt reduction.