• 1 Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia.
  • 2 Institute for Public Health, National Institutes of Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia
  • 3 Non-Communicable Disease Section, Disease Control Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Putrajaya, Malaysia
  • 4 Sarawak General Hospital, Ministry of Health Malaysia, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia
  • 5 Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
J Health Popul Nutr, 2021 05 31;40(Suppl 1):6.
PMID: 34059158 DOI: 10.1186/s41043-021-00235-0


BACKGROUND: High blood pressure or hypertension has become one of the main health problems, worldwide. A number of studies have proven that an increased intake of salt was related to an increased prevalence of cardiovascular diseases. Of late, its relationship with high salt intake has received a lot of attention. Studies in Malaysia have shown both rising hypertension over time as well as high salt consumption. Actions to reduce salt intake are essential to reduce hypertension and its disease burden. As such, we carried out a study to determine associations between knowledge, attitude and behaviour towards salt intake and hypertension among the Malaysian population.

METHODS: Data obtained from the Malaysian Community Salt Survey (MyCoSS) was used partially for this study. The survey used a cross-sectional two-stage sampling design to select a nationally representative sample of Malaysian adults aged 18 years and above living in non-institutional living quarters (LQ). Face-to-face interviews were done by trained research assistants (RA) to obtain information on sociodemography, medical report, as well as knowledge, attitude and behaviour of the respondents towards salt intake and blood pressure.

RESULTS: Majority of the respondents have been diagnosed with hypertension (61.4%) as well as knowledge of the effects of high salt intake on blood pressure (58.8%). More than half of the respondents (53.3%) said they controlled their salt intake on a regular basis. Those who knew that a high salt diet could contribute to a serious health problem (OR=0.23) as well as those who controlled their salt intake (OR=0.44) were significantly less likely to have hypertension.

CONCLUSION: Awareness of the effects of sodium on human health, as well as the behaviour of controlling salt intake, is essential towards lowering the prevalence of hypertension among Malaysians.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.