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Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Jul;94(1):234-9. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.111.014159. Epub 2011 May 25.

Association between yogurt, milk, and cheese consumption and common carotid artery intima-media thickness and cardiovascular disease risk factors in elderly women.

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Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute, School of Public Health, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia.



Despite the contribution of dairy foods to total dietary saturated fat intake, available data indicate that dairy consumption may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.


The objective of this study was to investigate the relation between consumption of milk, cheese, and yogurt and common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT) in a cohort of elderly women.


Dairy consumption was assessed with a validated food-frequency questionnaire in 1080 participants randomly selected from ambulant white women aged >70 y living in Perth, Western Australia. CCA-IMT was assessed by using B-mode carotid ultrasound 3 y later. Cardiovascular disease risk factors, including serum lipids and blood pressure, were assessed at baseline.


Total dairy product, milk, and cheese consumption was not associated with CCA-IMT (P > 0.05), whereas yogurt consumption was negatively associated with CCA-IMT (unadjusted standardized β = -0.081, P = 0.008; baseline risk factor-adjusted standardized β = -0.075, P = 0.015). Participants who consumed >100 g yogurt/d had a significantly lower CCA-IMT than did participants with lower consumption (unadjusted = -0.024 mm, P = 0.002). This relation remained significant after adjustment for baseline, dietary, and lifestyle risk factors (multivariable analysis = -0.023 mm, P = 0.003).


Increased consumption of yogurt, but not of other dairy products, is associated with a lower CCA-IMT, independent of other risk factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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