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J Natl Med Assoc. 2003 Mar;95(3):188-95.

Adequate nutrient intake can reduce cardiovascular disease risk in African Americans.

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Academic Network, Portland, Oregon 97205-2110, USA.


Cardiovascular disease kills nearly as many Americans each year as the next seven leading causes of death combined. The prevalence of cardiovascular disease and most of its associated risk factors is markedly higher and increasing more rapidly among African Americans than in any other racial or ethnic group. Improving these statistics may be simply a matter of improving diet quality. In recent years, a substantial and growing body of evidence has revealed that dietary patterns complete in all food groups, including nutrient-rich dairy products, are essential for preventing and reducing cardiovascular disease and the conditions that contribute to it. Several cardiovascular risk factors, including hypertension, insulin resistance syndrome, and obesity, have been shown to be positively influenced by dietary patterns that include adequate intake of dairy products. The benefits of nutrient-rich dietary patterns have been specifically tested in randomized, controlled trials emphasizing African American populations. These studies demonstrated proportionally greater benefits for African Americans without evidence of adverse effects such as symptoms of lactose intolerance. As currently promoted for the prevention of certain cancers and osteoporosis, regular consumption of diets that meet recommended nutrient intake levels might also be the most effective approach for reducing cardiovascular disease risk in African Americans.

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