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J Hypertens. 1987 Jun;5(3):331-5.

Variability of urinary sodium and potassium excretion in north Chinese men.


Variability of urine sodium (Na), potassium (K) and sodium/potassium (Na/K) excretion was studied in a sample of 50 employed normotensive male health professionals aged 27-50 in Beijing, China. Six 24-h urine specimens were collected from each participant during night-time (12-h) and daytime (12-h) fractions. The estimated ratio of intra- to inter-individual variances was 2.12 for night-time and 1.48 for 24-h urine Na, and 1.85 and 1.54, respectively, for urine K. Based on these values, six night-time and four 24-h urine specimens are necessary to reduce to 15% the diminution of a correlation between urine Na and another physiological variable. The corresponding numbers are five and four, respectively, for urinary K measurement. These data suggest that the ratio of within-person variation to between-person variation in Na excretion is smaller in these Chinese men than in Americans. The dietary Na intake of Chinese men can therefore be characterized with fewer urine specimens than are required for western populations. Night-time urinary Na and K showed good concordance with those from 24-h specimens in distinguishing high or low Na and K intake. These findings indicate that in large-scale epidemiological studies, overnight specimens may be adequate for classifying individuals with regard to Na and K intake.

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