Deakin University
keast-crosssectional-2015.pdf (2.7 MB)

Cross-sectional study of 24-hour urinary electrolyte excretion and associated health outcomes in a convenience sample of Australian primary schoolchildren: the salt and other nutrients in children (SONIC) study protocol.

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BACKGROUND: Dietary sodium and potassium are involved in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. Data exploring the cardiovascular outcomes associated with these electrolytes within Australian children is sparse. Furthermore, an objective measure of sodium and potassium intake within this group is lacking. OBJECTIVE: The primary aim of the Salt and Other Nutrient Intakes in Children ("SONIC") study was to measure sodium and potassium intakes in a sample of primary schoolchildren located in Victoria, Australia, using 24-hour urine collections. Secondary aims were to identify the dietary sources of sodium and potassium, examine the association between these electrolytes and cardiovascular risk factors, and assess children's taste preferences and saltiness perception of manufactured foods. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in a convenience sample of schoolchildren attending primary schools in Victoria, Australia. Participants completed one 24-hour urine collection, which was analyzed for sodium, potassium, and creatinine. Completeness of collections was assessed using collection time, total volume, and urinary creatinine. One 24-hour dietary recall was completed to assess dietary intake. Other data collected included blood pressure, body weight, height, waist and hip circumference. Children were also presented with high and low sodium variants of food products and asked to discriminate salt level and choose their preferred variant. Parents provided demographic information and information on use of discretionary salt. Descriptive statistics will be used to describe sodium and potassium intakes. Linear and logistic regression models with clustered robust standard errors will be used to assess the association between electrolyte intake and health outcomes (blood pressure and body mass index/BMI z-score and waist circumference) and to assess differences in taste preference and discrimination between high and low sodium foods, and correlations between preference, sodium intake, and covariates. RESULTS: A total of 780 children across 43 schools participated. The results from this study are expected at the end of 2015. CONCLUSIONS: This study will provide the first objective measure of sodium and potassium intake in Australian schoolchildren and improve our understanding of the relationship of these electrolytes to cardiovascular risk factors. Furthermore, this study will provide insight into child taste preferences and explore related factors. Given the cardiovascular implications of consuming too much sodium and too little potassium, monitoring of these nutrients during childhood is an important public health initiative.



JMIR research protocols





Article number



1 - 7


JMIR Publications


Toronto, Ont.






Reproduced with the kind permission of the copyright owner.

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2015, The Authors