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. This study aimed to assess the daily salt consumption of the Omani urban population and their knowledge and attitudes regarding dietary salt. Methods: This cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted in Muscat between September and December 2017. Participants were recruited from malls, university students and staff, hospital staff and their relatives and relatives of patients. A previously validated questionnaires were used to assess the participants’ salt intake and their knowledge and attitudes regarding salt intake. Results: A total of 345 participants were included in this study (response rate: 69%), of which 300 responses (mean age: 27.88 ± 7.9 years, 54.3% male) were included for analysis. Overall, 94.3% 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 g/day (interquartile range: 7.3–15.1 g/day), with 90% of the respondents consuming more than the maximum recommended amount of salt per day. Salt intake was significantly higher in women and the older age group (>40 years). 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 the sampled population in Oman was high and did not depend on knowledge. Strategies should be designed to reduce salt intake among the urban population, including health education to increase knowledge about the complications of high salt intake.
ASJC Scopus subject areas