Author(s): Westrick SC, Garza KB, Stevenson TL, Oliver WD
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Abstract OBJECTIVES To describe sodium-related knowledge and self-reported behaviors in adults with hypertension and assess the association between knowledge and behaviors and blood pressure levels in this population. METHODS Using convenience sampling of patients with hypertension, an oral cross-sectional survey was administered by student pharmacists in 45 community pharmacies in Alabama and Florida in May to July 2012. After survey questions were administered, patients' blood pressures were measured. Data were tested for significance at alpha < 0.05 using bivariate analyses of independent and dependent variables (systolic/diastolic blood pressure [SBP/DBP]) and parallel linear regression of significant independent variables. RESULTS The majority of the 664 patients surveyed were women (59.3\%) and white (75.2\%). Most resided in urban areas (81.5\%). The mean SBP/DBP was 133.3 (SD = 15.7)/81.7 (SD = 9.1) mg Hg. Most participants recognized the relationship between salt intake and high blood pressure (91.1\%) and stroke (78.0\%). A small percentage of patients reported that they always look for sodium content on food products (15.0\%) and always buy low-sodium products (10.6\%). Patients with lower knowledge scores (B = -0.01, P < 0.001) and those who were advised to cut down on salt (B = 0.02, P = 0.037) had higher SBP levels when controlled for gender, race, and awareness of their blood pressure goals. In regression analysis, lower knowledge scores were associated with increased DBP levels (B = -0.52, P = 0.014) when controlled for gender and race. CONCLUSION Many patients were not aware of salt in processed food and did not always look for sodium content on nutritional labels. Pharmacists should address dietary salt when interacting with patients with hypertension.
This article was published in J Am Pharm Assoc (2003)
and referenced in Internal Medicine: Open Access