The Barbados Health of the Nation Survey – Salt Sub‐Study


Rachel Harris (PhD Candidate)1, Ian Hambleton1, Angela Rose1, Susan Soares‐Wynter2, Nigel Unwin1.

1 Chronic Disease Research Centre
2 Tropical Metabolism Research Unit

Other investigators:

Nita Forouhi, Nutrition Group, MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge

Funding Obtained:

Included within the total for the main study

Start Date:

October 2011

End Date:

December 2013


The Barbados National Salt Study is designed to provide an objective assessment of current salt intake in order to inform and monitor salt reduction strategies. In addition, the study will provide the first detailed assessment of diet and its quality in Barbados.


Participants of the Health of the Nation Study aged 25 to 64 years were randomly selected, with the initially aim of a total sample size of 400 – 100 in each twenty year age and sex category. Sodium consumption was assessed by 24 hour urine collection, and the measurement of urinary electrolytes. Dietary composition is assessed by the completion of two 24 hour dietary recalls, one for a weekend day and one for a week day. Nutrients within the diet are being estimated using Nutribase software.

Main Results and Further Analyses:

Complete data are available on 364 participants, and analysis is in progress. Initial findings are that the mean daily salt intake (95% CIs) in men is 7.4g (6.9 – 7.9) and in women is 6.2g (5.8 – 6.0). Sources of sodium of will be determined from the analysis of the 24 hour dietary recall. Dietary patterns and adequacy will be investigated, including how they vary by measures of socio‐economic status.

Expected impact:

The findings from this study will be used to plan and target interventions aimed at reducing excess sodium consumption, and improving the quality of the diet in general.

Next Steps / Future Plans:

Further analyses, as described above.


The following publications are planned: mean intakes of sodium by age, sex, and socio‐economic status, with sources of dietary sodium; knowledge on and attitudes to salt, and their predictors; identification of dietary patterns, assessment of dietary adequacy (against international guidelines), and the socio‐demographic predictors of these.

Training opportunities:

This study is the basis of Mrs Rachel Harris’s PhD. Her supervisory team includes the nutritional epidemiologist Dr Nita Forouhi from the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, UK.

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