Send to

Choose Destination
Hypertension. 2019 Mar;73(3):578-586. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.12259.

Mediterranean-Style Diet Improves Systolic Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Older Adults.

Author information

From the Department of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom (A.J., R.G., C.M.O., S.J.F.-T., A.-M.M., A.C.).
Department of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, The Netherlands (A.M.B., L.C.P.G.M.d.G., E.J.M.F.).
Department of Human Nutrition, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, Poland (A.B., E.S., B.P.).
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (N.M., E.C.), Centre de Recherches en Nutrition Humaine (CRNH) d'Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Université Clermont Auvergne, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Unité de Nutrition Humaine (C.M.-B.), Centre de Recherches en Nutrition Humaine (CRNH) d'Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine (A.S., C.F.), Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Italy.
Interdepartmental Centre "L. Galvani" (A.S., R.O.), Alma Mater Studiorum, University of Bologna, Italy.


We aimed to determine the effect of a Mediterranean-style diet, tailored to meet dietary recommendations for older adults, on blood pressure and arterial stiffness. In 12 months, randomized controlled trial (NU-AGE [New Dietary Strategies Addressing the Specific Needs of Elderly Population for Healthy Aging in Europe]), blood pressure was measured in 1294 healthy participants, aged 65 to 79 years, recruited from 5 European centers, and arterial stiffness in a subset of 225 participants. The intervention group received individually tailored standardized dietary advice and commercially available foods to increase adherence to a Mediterranean diet. The control group continued on their habitual diet and was provided with current national dietary guidance. In the 1142 participants who completed the trial (88.2%), after 1 year the intervention resulted in a significant reduction in systolic blood pressure (-5.5 mm Hg; 95% CI, -10.7 to -0.4; P=0.03), which was evident in males (-9.2 mm Hg, P=0.02) but not females (-3.1 mm Hg, P=0.37). The -1.7 mm Hg (95% CI, -4.3 to 0.9) decrease in diastolic pressure after intervention did not reach statistical significance. In a subset (n=225), augmentation index, a measure of arterial stiffness, was improved following intervention (-12.4; 95% CI, -24.4 to -0.5; P=0.04) with no change in pulse wave velocity. The intervention also resulted in an increase in 24-hour urinary potassium (8.8 mmol/L; 95% CI, 0.7-16.9; P=0.03) and in male participants (52%) a reduction in pulse pressure (-6.1 mm Hg; 95% CI, -12.0 to -0.2; P=0.04) and 24-hour urinary sodium (-27.1 mmol/L; 95% CI, -53.3 to -1.0; P=0.04). In conclusion, a Mediterranean-style diet is effective in improving cardiovascular health with clinically relevant reductions in blood pressure and arterial stiffness. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: . Unique identifier: NCT01754012.


aging; blood pressure; potassium; pulse wave velocity; sodium

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center