Associations between dietary patterns and arterial stiffness, carotid artery intima-media thickness and atherosclerosis

Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2010 Dec;17(6):718-24. doi: 10.1097/HJR.0b013e32833a197f.


Background: Few studies have examined the association between global diet, assessed through dietary patterns, and arterial structure and function. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between carotid-femoral pulse-wave velocity (PWV), common carotid-arteries intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT) and plaques with dietary patterns measured 7.5 years earlier.

Design: A prospective cohort study between diet and markers of structure and function of large arteries.

Methods: Dietary patterns (linear combination of food consumption) were identified using principal component analysis among 1026 middle-aged participants in the SUpplémentation en VItamines et Minéraux AntioXydants (SU.VI.MAX) vascular substudy. Dietary data were based on repeated 24-h dietary records (at least three records during 2 years) obtained at inclusion. Carotid-femoral PWV was used to assess aortic stiffness. Carotid ultrasound examination included measurements of CCA-IMT and carotid plaques.

Results: Four dietary patterns were identified. In multivariate models, a significant positive association was observed between PWV and a dietary pattern positively correlated with meat and alcohol consumption and negatively correlated with fibers, vitamins B9 and C, β-carotene and calcium consumption. Adjusted PWV mean across tertiles of this pattern score was 11.15, 11.26 and 11.58 m/s in the first, second and third tertiles, respectively (P for trend=0.03). Others dietary patterns were not associated with PWV and we detected no association between dietary patterns and IMT or plaques.

Conclusion: This study suggests that a nutritionally poor dietary pattern, characterized by a high meat and alcohol consumption and low micronutrients intake, is related to an increased stiffening of large arteries.

Trial registration: NCT00272428.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Arteries / pathology*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / etiology*
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / pathology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Elasticity
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meat / adverse effects
  • Micronutrients
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Tunica Intima / diagnostic imaging
  • Tunica Intima / pathology*
  • Tunica Media / diagnostic imaging
  • Tunica Media / pathology*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Micronutrients

Associated data