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Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Nov;82(5):972-9.

Low-fat dairy consumption and reduced risk of hypertension: the Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra (SUN) cohort.

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  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.



Some observational studies have shown a beneficial effect of dairy consumption on blood pressure, especially in overweight and relatively young (<40 y) persons. However, no results from prospective studies conducted in a free-living population exist that show this association in middle-aged adults.


The aim of the present study was to assess whether total, low-fat, and whole-fat dairy consumption was associated prospectively with the risk of hypertension.


This was a prospective study conducted in 5880 university graduates in Spain, aged >20 y in 2000 (mean age: 37 y), free of hypertension and cardiovascular disease at baseline, and followed-up with mailed questionnaires for a median of 27 mo. Dairy consumption was assessed with a previously validated semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire.


One hundred eighty new cases of hypertension were identified. The hazard ratio of hypertension between extreme quintiles of low-fat dairy product consumption was 0.46 (95% CI: 0.26, 0.84; P for trend = 0.02) after adjustment for the main known risk factors for hypertension and several dietary factors. No significant association between whole-fat dairy products or total calcium intake and incident hypertension was seen.


In this Mediterranean cohort, low-fat dairy consumption, but not whole-fat dairy consumption, was associated with a lower risk of incident hypertension.

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