Submitted to: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/28/1999
Publication Date: 4/1/2000
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Nationwide, nearly 25% of the US adult population have hypertension. In the Lower Mississippi Delta region, rates of hypertension and its complications are even higher than those nationwide. The Lower Mississippi Delta Nutrition Intervention Research Initiative conducted a pilot study to collect preliminary data on dietary intakes, beliefs and behavior related to hypertension. A total of 134 adult subjects from three Delta counties in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi participated in the study. Subjects, who were selected by the random digit dialing method, were interviewed over the telephone. A total of 32% of the respondents reported that they had high blood pressure; 61% indicated they thought it was important to use salt in moderation, while 81% agreed with the statement that problems result from eating too much salt. Further, a total of 39% of the subjects said they read product nutrition labels for information on salt content, while 5% said they were on a low-salt diet. Mean intakes reported from 24-hr dietary recall were 3388 mg NA, a level slightly below average US consumption, and 2337 mg K, a level half that recommended as effective to reduce blood pressure. Despite a general awareness of the impact of the diet on hypertension, a low proportion of these subjects translated this knowledge into practice. These results demonstrate the need to focus on converting this knowledge into action in the form of appropriate dietary behavior.