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Association between plant-based diets and blood pressure in the INTERMAP study.

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Aljuraiban, Ghadeer  ORCID logo
Chan, Queenie 
Gibson, Rachel 
Stamler, Jeremiah 
Daviglus, Martha L 


BACKGROUND: Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases; however, little is known how the healthiness of the diet may be associated with blood pressure (BP). We aimed to modify three plant -based diet indices: overall plant-based diet index (PDI), healthy PDI (hPDI), and unhealthy PDI (uPDI) according to country-specific dietary guidelines to enable use across populations with diverse dietary patterns - and assessed their associations with BP. DESIGN: We used cross-sectional data including 4,680 men and women ages 40-59y in Japan, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States from the INTERnational study on MAcro/micronutrients and blood Pressure (INTERMAP). During four visits, eight BP measurements, and four 24-h dietary recalls were collected. Multivariable regression coefficients were estimated, pooled, weighted, and adjusted extensively for lifestyle/dietary confounders. RESULTS: Modified PDI was not associated with BP. Consumption of hPDI higher by 1SD was inversely associated with systolic (-0.82 mm Hg;95% CI:-1.32,-0.49) and diastolic BP (-0.49 mm Hg; 95% CI:-0.91, -0.28). In contrast, consumption of an uPDI was directly associated with systolic (0.77 mm Hg;95% CI:0.30,1.20). Significant associations between hPDI with BP were attenuated with separate adjustment for vegetables and whole grains; associations between uPDI and BP were attenuated after adjustment for refined grains, sugar-sweetened beverages, and meat. CONCLUSION: An hPDI is associated with lower BP while a uPDI is adversely related to BP. Plant-based diets rich in vegetables and whole grains and limited in refined grains, sugar-sweetened beverages, and total meat may contribute to these associations. In addition to current guidelines, the nutritional quality of consumed plant foods is as important as limiting animal-based components. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: The observational INTERMAP study was registered at as NCT00005271.



blood pressure lowering, dietary patterns

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BMJ Nutr Prev Health

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Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) (146281)
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)