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JAMA. 1987 Jun 19;257(23):3251-6.

Associations of dietary fat, regional adiposity, and blood pressure in men.


Mediterranean populations have low incidence rates of cardiovascular disease and hypertension that may be due, in part, to dietary factors, particularly a relatively high intake of monounsaturated fat as olive oil. In this study, nutritional components (as grams per 4200 kJ) (1 kcal = 4.2 kJ) from three-day food records were examined in association with resting blood pressure in a cross-sectional survey of 76 sedentary middle-aged American men, aged 30 to 55 years, with resting blood pressures below 160/100 mm Hg. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures correlated significantly and inversely with monounsaturated fat consumption. Polyunsaturated fat consumption also correlated inversely with diastolic blood pressure; however, this relationship became nonsignificant when adjusted for an index of regional adiposity that characterizes the male-type obesity pattern. Detailed analyses of specific fatty acids showed that the correlations with monounsaturates were specific to oleic acid, and the correlation with polyunsaturates was specific to linoleic acid. Multiple regression analysis suggested that 18.2% of the variance in systolic blood pressure and 23.2% of the variance in diastolic blood pressure were related to monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat consumption and regional adiposity. Thus, increased consumption of monounsaturated fat is related inversely to resting blood pressure, although causality remains to be determined.

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