High blood pressure (BP) has been ranked as the most important risk factor worldwide regarding attributable deaths. Dietary habits are major determinants of BP. Among them, frequent intake of low-fat dairy products may protect against hypertension. Our aim was to assess the relationship between low-fat dairy product intake and BP levels and their changes after 12-month follow-up in a cohort of asymptomatic older persons at high cardiovascular risk recruited into a large-scale trial assessing the effects of Mediterranean diets on cardiovascular outcomes. Data from 2290 participants, including 1845 with hypertension, were available for analyses. Dairy products were not a specific part of the intervention; thus, data were analysed as an observational cohort. Dietary information was collected with validated semi-quantitative FFQ and trained personnel measured BP. To assess BP changes, we undertook cross-sectional analyses at baseline and at the end of follow-up and longitudinal analyses. A statistically significant inverse association between low-fat dairy product intake and systolic BP was observed for the 12-month longitudinal analysis. In the longitudinal analysis, the adjusted systolic and diastolic BP were significantly lower in the highest quintile of low-fat dairy product intake (-4.2 (95% CI -6.9, -1.4) and -1.8 (95% CI -3.2, -0.4) mmHg respectively), whereas the point estimates for the difference in diastolic BP indicated a modest non-significant inverse association. Intake of low-fat dairy products was inversely associated with BP in an older population at high cardiovascular risk, suggesting a possible protective effect against hypertension.
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