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Int J Circumpolar Health. 2011 Jun;70(3):254-65. Epub 2011 May 26.

Sex-specific associations of nutrition with hypertension and systolic blood pressure in Alaska Natives findings from the GOCADAN study.

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Cleveland Clinic Medicine Institute, Cleveland, OH, USA.



To examine sex-specific associations of nutritional factors with prevalent hypertension (HTN) and systolic blood pressure (SBP) in Alaska Natives. Diet is known to affect SBP, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.


Cross-sectional analysis of participants without diabetes in the Genetics of Coronary Artery Disease in Alaska Natives study.


Macronutrients such as fat, carbohydrate and protein and micronutrients such as sodium were investigated. HTN was defined as SBP≥140 mmHg, diastolic blood pressure≥90 mmHg and/or taking anti-HTN medication. Analyses were stratified by sex and covariates included age, body mass index (BMI), energy intake, smoking and physical activity.


Mean age was 42 years for men (n=456) and women (n=602). Men with HTN (n=106) compared to men without HTN consumed a higher proportion of calories from total (p=0.01), saturated (p<0.01) and trans fatty acid (p=0.03) fats. Women with HTN (n=99) compared to women without HTN consumed more total (p=0.03) and monounsaturated (p=0.04) fat, higher protein (p=0.02) and lower total (p<0.01) and simple (p<0.01) carbohydrates. After covariate adjustment, men not on anti-HTN medications (n=407) had significantly higher average SBP with increasing quartiles of trans fatty acid intake (p for linear trend=0.01) and sodium intake (p for linear trend=0.02). For women not on anti-HTN medications (n=528), after covariate adjustment, average SBP decreased with increasing quartiles of omega 3 fatty acid intake (p for linear trend <0.01).


Prospective evaluation of the sex-specific associations of nutritional factors with HTN and SBP on outcomes is needed along with novel interventions to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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