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Research Letter
Jan 9, 2012

Primary Health Care Providers' Attitudes and Counseling Behaviors Related to Dietary Sodium Reduction

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(1):76-78. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.620

High sodium intake is associated with increased blood pressure.1 Average sodium intake among US adults far exceeds recommendations.2 Primary care physicians and nurse practitioners are the first line of medical care and can influence opinions and behaviors of their patients.3,4 Although some information exists about perceived advice from health professionals related to sodium reduction,5 little is known about health care providers' own perceptions about sodium intake and patient counseling behaviors about reducing sodium intake. We used data from DocStyles, a Web-based survey of health care providers. Participants included health care providers who practiced in the United States; worked in an individual, group, or hospital setting; and had practiced medicine for a minimum of 3 years. In 2010, family/general practitioners (FGPs), internists, and nurse practitioners were asked questions on sodium. Response rates were 45.2% for FGPs and internists combined and 52.6% for nurse practitioners.