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Objectives: High salt consumption is a major risk factor for hypertension. Studies have shown dietary salt intake to be high in many parts of the world. The aim of this study was to assess the daily salt consumption by the urban population in Oman and to assess their knowledge and attitudes towards dietary salt. Methods: This was a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study conducted between September to December 2017 in Muscat. We used previously validated questionnaires to assess salt intake and the knowledge and attitudes to salt intake. Results: 345 responses were received out of 500 distributed questionnaires (response rate 69%) of which 300 responses (27.88 + 7.9 years, 53.3% male) were included for analysis. 94% of the participants agreed that lowering salt in diet is important and nearly half the participants said that they were taking measures to reduce salt intake. However, the median salt intake was high at 10.5(7.3-15.1) gm salt/day. 90% of those questioned consume more than the maximum recommended amount of salt per day. Salt intake was significantly higher in females and older age group (>40 years of age), There did not appear to be any correlation between awareness of the dangers of salt intake and the amount consumed. Conclusion: The salt intake in our sampled population in Oman is high and does not depend on knowledge. Strategies should be designed to reduce salt intake by health education and increasing knowledge about complications of high salt intake among the urban population.
Keywords: dietaray sodium chloride; knowledge attitudes and practices.
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