A priori dietary patterns and blood pressure in the EPIC Florence cohort: a cross-sectional study.


Cancer Risk Factors and Lifestyle Epidemiology Unit, Institute for cancer research, prevention and clinical network, ISPRO, Via delle Oblate 4, 50141, Florence, Italy. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Several foods and nutrients have been independently associated with systolic (SBP) and diastolic (DBP) blood pressure values. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of combined dietary habits on SBP and DBP values in a large cohort of healthy adults, with a cross-sectional design. Adherence of participants to four a priori dietary patterns was considered: the Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI-2010); the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH); the Greek Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS); and the Italian Mediterranean Index (IMI).
METHODS : Overall, 13,597 volunteers (35-64 years) were enrolled in 1993-1998 in the EPIC-Florence cohort. Information on dietary habits, anthropometry, smoking status, education, physical activity habits, previous diagnosis of hypertension and SBP and DBP measurements were collected at baseline. Multivariate regression models were performed on 10,163 individuals (7551 women) after excluding subjects with prevalent hypertension.
RESULTS : IMI, DASH and HEI-2010 were significantly and inversely associated with SBP and DBP values in the total population. The strongest association emerged between IMI and SBP (β - 1.80 excellent adherence vs low adherence, 95% CI - 2.99; - 0.61, p trend 0.001) and DBP (β - 1.12, 95% CI - 1.869; - 0.39, p trend 0.001) values. In sub-group analyses, an inverse association also emerged between IMI and SBP and DBP values among females and between DASH and DBP among males. MDS was not associated with SBP or DBP.
CONCLUSIONS : Overall, this study, carried out in a large cohort of healthy adults from Tuscany (Central Italy), showed inverse significant associations between specific a priori dietary patterns, identifying general models of health-conscious diet, and blood pressure values.


A priori dietary pattern,Blood pressure,Cohort study,Cross-sectional design,

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