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The end of spot urine analysis as a research tool for salt intake

"The end of spot urine analysis as a research tool for salt intake". With this title the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Hypertension seals the controversy that has engulfed hundred of pages of scientific journals in the last few years and, at the same time, mis-directed huge financial and human resources that could have been used for better scopes.

The conclusion is: "there is no merit in assessing salt intake based around spot urine measurements and using the results as evidence in any debate on salt intake and blood pressure development or lowering".[1]

The latest Consensus Document comes from a joint policy statement from the World Hypertension League, the International Society of Hypertension and Resolve to Save Lives. They conclude that "the method [spot urine sample] is not recommended to be used and is associated with spurious health outcome associations".[2]

Furthermore, "the formulas to estimate population sodium intake based on spot urine collections are not suitable alternatives to 24-hour urinary sodium to evaluate the effectiveness of pubic health programmes in populations".[3] [4]

The experts "call on scientific journals to stop publishing manuscripts with findings based on associations of disease when dietary sodium has been assessed using spot urine or short-duration urine samples and for funding agencies to stop funding such research".[1] [5]

Finally the World Health Organization has issued revised protocols to recommend the use of 24-hour urine collections for national surveys to assess population salt consumption [6] [7], supported by video training tools [8].


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