AHA: Yogurt Consumption May Reduce Hypertension Risk

Adults who consume >2 percent of calories from yogurt have reduced risk versus non-consumers

THURSDAY, Sept. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Regular consumption of yogurt may reduce the risk of developing hypertension, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions, held from Sept. 19 to 22 in Washington, D.C.

Huifen Wang, from Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues examined the longitudinal association of yogurt consumption with blood pressure levels and hypertension prevention among 2,197 adults from the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort (exams five to eight in 1998-2001 to 2005-2008) who were free of hypertension at exam five. Yogurt consumption was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire.

The researchers found that, at baseline (exam five), 44 percent of participants consumed at least one serving of yogurt per month and mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure were 117 mm Hg and 72 mm Hg, respectively. Over 14 years of follow-up, 913 participants developed incident hypertension, while blood pressure and yogurt intake both increased. Compared with non-consumers, people who had high intake of yogurt (consumed more than 2 percent of total calories from yogurt) had lower risk of incident hypertension (odds ratio [OR], 0.69), after adjustment for demographics, lifestyle factors, and cholesterol-lowering medication use. The high-intake group had a significantly smaller annualized elevation of systolic blood pressure than non-consumers (0.19 ± 0.09 mm Hg). The longitudinal association between yogurt intake and annualized systolic blood pressure change was strengthened by excluding antihypertensive medication users at follow-up.

"Higher yogurt intake, as part of a healthy diet pattern, may be beneficial for blood pressure control and hypertension prevention," the authors write.

The study was funded in part by research grants from the Dannon Company.

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