Circulating carotenoid concentrations and incident hypertension: the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study

J Hypertens. 2009 Feb;27(2):237-42. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0b013e32832258c9.


Background: Several epidemiological studies have demonstrated that carotenoid concentrations relate inversely to cardiovascular disease incidence. Thus, we examined the association of circulating carotenoids with hypertension, a major macrovascular disease risk factor.

Methods: Black and White men and women in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study, aged 18-30 years at recruitment (1985-1986) from four US cities, were investigated over 20 years. At years 0, 7, and 15, we determined the relationships of the sum of four serum carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin) and of lycopene with incident hypertension using proportional hazards regression models.

Results: In 4412 participants, year 0 sum of four carotenoids was significantly inversely associated with 20-year hypertension incidence after adjustment for baseline systolic blood pressure and other confounding factors (relative hazard per SD increase of sum of four carotenoids: 0.91; 95% confidence interval = 0.84-0.99). The inverse relationships persisted in time-dependent models updating year 0 sum of four carotenoids with year 7 and year 15 values (relative hazard per SD increase of sum of four carotenoids: 0.84; 95% confidence interval = 0.77-0.92). Lycopene was unrelated to hypertension in any model.

Conclusion: Those individuals with higher concentrations of sum of carotenoids, not including lycopene, generally had lower risk for future hypertension.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Carotenoids / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / blood*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Carotenoids