This analysis of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) was designed to investigate the impact of dietary calcium intake on age-related changes in blood pressure and pulse pressure. Data on 17,030 participants 20 years or older (mean age, 48.8+/-0.2 years; 47% male, 42% Caucasian, and 28% African American) were used. Data included demographics, body mass index, blood pressure, and daily dietary calcium. Overall, average calcium intake was 761 mg/day. After adjusting for demographic and anthropomorphic variables, as well as total energy consumption, higher calcium intake was associated with lower rates of age-related increases of systolic blood pressure and pulse pressure (p<0.001). If the calcium intake of the general population were to increase to above 1200 mg, the incidence of isolated systolic hypertension in the elderly might be decreased.
Copyright 2003 Le Jacq Communications, Inc.