Skip to main content Skip to navigation


Estimate of total salt intake in two regions of Belgium through analysis of sodium in 24-h urine samples.

S Vandevijvere, W De Keyzer, J-P Chapelle, D Jeanne, G Mouillet, I Huybrechts, P Hulshof, H Van Oyen.

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2010; 64: 1260-1265


Objectives: To evaluate total salt intake in the adult population through an analysis of sodium in 24-h urine samples in two regions of Belgium.
Methods: Urine samples were collected over 24 h from participants and they had to complete a specific questionnaire about salt intake afterwards. Sodium and creatinine concentrations were analysed in these samples.

Subjects: The target population comprised adults aged 45–65 years in the region of Ghent and Liege. A total of 123 and 157 volunteers from Ghent and Liege, respectively, were included in the study.
Results: The mean creatinine level in Flanders (n1⁄4114) amounted to 0.173±0.035mmol/kg/day, whereas in the Walloon region (n 1⁄4 135) it amounted to 0.161±0.036 mmol/kg/day, after the exclusion of subjects with incomplete urine collection. Intake of sodium in Flanders (n 1⁄4 114) was 4.29±1.29 g/day, whereas in the Walloon region (n 1⁄4 135) it was 3.94±1.44 g/day. In both regions, sodium intake in men was higher than in women.

Conclusion: Salt intake was more or less twice as high as the recommended intake. Salt intake as estimated from 24-h urine collections is substantially higher than that previously calculated on the basis of food consumption data. A salt reduction programme for Belgium is primordial.

Belgium flag

Belgium map

Salt intake (g/day)* in Belgium (2009)

  Mean Sd
Men (n=63) 12.4 4.3
Women (n=60) 10.4 3.3
Walloon region    
Men (n=76) 12.1 3.7
Women (n=81) 9.0 3.5

*adjusted for urinary Na as 95% of total Na intake.

Method: 24h urine collection

Eur J Clin Nutr (2010)