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Br J Nutr. 2012 Nov 14;108(9):1678-85. doi: 10.1017/S000711451100715X. Epub 2012 Jan 16.

Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating pattern and risk of elevated blood pressure in adolescent girls.

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Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Boston University School of Medicine, 72 East Concord Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


Dietary determinants of adolescent blood pressure (BP) are poorly understood. The goal of the present study was to assess the effects of an eating pattern similar to that from the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study on adolescent BP. Data from 2185 girls followed-up over 10 years (until the girls were 18-20 years of age) in the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's Growth and Health Study were used in this analysis. Diet was assessed during eight examination cycles using 3 d dietary records; girls were classified according to their consumption of foods associated with a DASH-style eating pattern. Analysis of covariance modelling, multiple logistic regression and longitudinal mixed models were used to control for potential confounding by age, race, socio-economic status, height, physical activity, television viewing time and other dietary factors. Girls who consumed ≥ 2 daily servings of dairy and ≥ 3 servings of fruits and vegetables (FV) had a 36 % lower risk (95 % CI: 0·43, 0·97) of elevated BP (EBP) in late adolescence. In longitudinal modelling, two dietary factors were associated with a lower systolic BP throughout adolescence: higher (≥ 2 daily servings) dairy intakes (P < 0·0001) and a DASH-style pattern (P = 0·0002). Only the DASH-style pattern led to consistently lower diastolic BP levels (P = 0·0484). Adjustment for BMI did not appreciably modify the results. In this study, adolescent girls whose diets were rich in dairy products and FV during the early- and mid-adolescent years were less likely to have EBP levels in later adolescence.

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