Increased sodium consumption can increase ones chances of developing hypertension. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a test group of 664 patients with hypertension to see if they were aware of this fact, and if they regularly checked the amount of sodium that was in their food. The vast majority of the patients (91.1%) reported that they were aware of the correlation between sodium and hypertension, but only 15% reported that they regularly check the sodium content of the food that they buy.
It is an interesting problem that so many patients are aware of the effects of excessive sodium intake, but so few actually do anything to regulate their sodium intake. It is possible that people just don’t realize they can keep track of the amount of sodium that is in their foods so easily. If that is the case, doctors and pharmacists should make sure that they are not only telling hypertensive patients about the effects of sodium, but also reminding them that they can easily keep track of how much sodium they are getting by looking at the nutrition facts labels of the food they buy.
Westrick SC, Garza KB, Stevenson TL, Oliver WD. Association of blood pressure with sodium-related knowledge and behaviors in adults with hypertension. Journal of American Pharmacists Association. 2014;54;154-158.