Gender Differences in Adherence to the Sodium-Restricted Diet in Patients With Heart Failure

Misook L. Chung, Debra K. Moser, Terry A. Lennie, Linda Worrall-Carter, Brooke Bentley, Robin Trupp, Deborah S. Armentano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Background: Despite the importance of the sodium-restricted diet (SRD) to heart failure (HF) management, patient adherence is poor. Little is known about gender differences in adherence or factors that affect patients' ability to follow SRD recommendations. The purposes of this study were to determine whether there were gender differences in (1) adherence to the SRD; (2) knowledge about SRD and HF self-care; and (3) perceived barriers to following the SRD. Methods and Results: Forty-one men and 27 women completed the Heart Failure Attitudes and Barriers questionnaire that measured HF self-care, knowledge, and perceived barriers to follow an SRD. Diet adherence was measured by 24-hour urinary sodium excretion (UNa). Women were more adherent to the SRD than men as reflected by 24-hour urine excretion (2713 versus 3859 mg UNa, P = .01). Women recognized signs of excess sodium intake such as fluid buildup (P = .001) and edema (P = .01) more often than men and had better understanding of appropriate actions to take related to following an SRD. There were no gender differences in perceived barriers to follow an SRD. Conclusions: Although men and women perceived similar barriers, women were more adherent to the SRD and had greater knowledge about following an SRD. Further investigation of this phenomenon is warranted to determine if better adherence contributes to improved outcomes in women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)628-634
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Barrier
  • Knowledge
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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