Low potassium and high sodium intakes: a double health threat to Cape Verdeans

Daniela A Alves, Zélia Santos, Miguel P. Amado, I Craveiro, Antonio Pedro Delgado, Artur Correia, Luzia Augusta Pires Gonçalves

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Cape Verde presents a high rate of cardiovascular diseases. Low potassium and high sodium intakes are related to cardiovascular diseases. However, studies regarding these two micronutrients continue to be rare in African urban settings. This work aims to estimate potassium and sodium intakes and to analyse the self-reported salt intake by gender and by type of urban area in the city of Praia - the capital of Cape Verde.

In the first stage (n = 1912), an intra-urban study was designed in two types of urban areas (formal and informal), using a sampling strategy based on random selection of geographical coordinates, in order to apply a questionnaire. In a second stage, a 24-h dietary recall and anthropometric measurements were performed by local nutritionists. Potassium and sodium intakes were estimated for 599 participants (149 men and 450 women). Non-parametric methods (including quantile regression) were used in the statistical analysis.

In informal areas, a higher percentage of women reported having hypertension (31.0%) compared to formal areas (19.7%). Based on 24-h dietary recall, median potassium intake for men was 2924.2 mg/day and for women and 2562.6 mg/day. Almost 70.0% of men and 80.0% of women ingested less than the recommended 3510 mg/day of potassium. In informal areas, men and women presented high medians of sodium intakes compared to formal areas (men: 4131.2 vs 3014.6 mg/day and women: 3243.4 vs 2522.4 mg/day). On the other hand, the percentage of participants exceeding 2000 mg/day for sodium was high (≥70.8%), even for participants that self-reported low-salt intake. Quantile regression models revealed effects of the type of urban area and gender in the potassium and sodium intakes, at least, in some quartiles, accounting for age, academic qualifications, and professional situation.

A low potassium intake and a high sodium intake were found in Praia. Thus, efficient health education campaigns and health promotion are needed and should be tailored considering gender and urban areas.
Original languageEnglish
Article number995
Pages (from-to)995-1006
Number of pages11
JournalBmc Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2018


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Formal and informal areas
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Overweight
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Cape Verde

UN Sustainable Development Goals (Under maintenance)

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being


Dive into the research topics of 'Low potassium and high sodium intakes: a double health threat to Cape Verdeans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this