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Br J Nutr. 2009 Jan;101(1):59-67. doi: 10.1017/S0007114508981496. Epub 2008 May 20.

Low-fat dairy products and blood pressure: follow-up of 2290 older persons at high cardiovascular risk participating in the PREDIMED study.

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Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, School of Medicine-Clinica Universitaria de Navarra, University of Navarra, Irunlarrea 1, 31080 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain.


High blood pressure (BP) has been ranked as the most important risk factor worldwide regarding attributable deaths. Dietary habits are major determinants of BP. Among them, frequent intake of low-fat dairy products may protect against hypertension. Our aim was to assess the relationship between low-fat dairy product intake and BP levels and their changes after 12-month follow-up in a cohort of asymptomatic older persons at high cardiovascular risk recruited into a large-scale trial assessing the effects of Mediterranean diets on cardiovascular outcomes. Data from 2290 participants, including 1845 with hypertension, were available for analyses. Dairy products were not a specific part of the intervention; thus, data were analysed as an observational cohort. Dietary information was collected with validated semi-quantitative FFQ and trained personnel measured BP. To assess BP changes, we undertook cross-sectional analyses at baseline and at the end of follow-up and longitudinal analyses. A statistically significant inverse association between low-fat dairy product intake and systolic BP was observed for the 12-month longitudinal analysis. In the longitudinal analysis, the adjusted systolic and diastolic BP were significantly lower in the highest quintile of low-fat dairy product intake (-4.2 (95% CI -6.9, -1.4) and -1.8 (95% CI -3.2, -0.4) mmHg respectively), whereas the point estimates for the difference in diastolic BP indicated a modest non-significant inverse association. Intake of low-fat dairy products was inversely associated with BP in an older population at high cardiovascular risk, suggesting a possible protective effect against hypertension.

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