A 24-hour urine collection was carried out during a cardiovascular survey in eastern Finland. The study population comprised 148 hypertensive subjects in a random sample of the middle-aged population and 86 normotensive controls. The mean sodium excretion was 197 mmol/24h in both normotensive and hypertensive men, 179 mmol/24h in normotensive women, and 174 mmol/24h in hypertensive women. There were no significant differences in potassium excretion rate or in sodium: potassium molar ratio between the normotensive and the hypertensive among either men or women. There was no statistically significant correlation between blood pressure level and sodium or potassium excretion or sodium: potassium molar ratio. One in four of the subjects reported that they usually added salt to their food before tasting it. The results of this study show that the average level of salt intake in a Finnish population is high, and so is the sodium: potassium molar ratio. Although there was no correlation between sodium excretion and blood pressure levels, it is known that in this population the average blood pressure level is high and cardiovascular disease extremely frequent.
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