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1. During the 1989 National Heart Foundation Risk Factor Prevalence Survey a subsample in Hobart collected 24 h urine samples to measure electrolyte excretion. 2. The ranges were 30-344 mmol/24 h for Na+ excretion (mean 160 mmol/24 h for men, 124 mmol/24 h for women), and 25-119 mmol/24 h for K+ excretion (mean 77 mmol/24 h for men, 68 mmol/24 h for women). 3. As in other surveys, women excreted about 20-25% less Na+ and K+ than men, although there was no significant sex difference in the ratio of Na+/K+ excretion. 4. The recommended dietary intake (RDI) for Na+ and K+ was followed simultaneously by 19% of subjects, and 13% had a 24 h urinary Na+/K+ ratio less than or equal to 1.0. 5. Observance of the RDI limited the value of iodized salt for goitre prophylaxis. 6. Sodium excretion rates were outside the therapeutic range of thiazide diuretics in 22% of subjects. 7. Diet groups for long-term prospective cohort studies to test the prophylactic value of avoiding salt could apparently be recruited from existing subsamples of the population.


Journal article


Clin exp pharmacol physiol

Publication Date





327 - 330


Adult, Aged, Electrolytes, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Potassium, Sex Factors, Sodium, Sodium, Dietary