Dairy consumption and incidence of hypertension: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies

Hypertension. 2012 Nov;60(5):1131-7. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.112.195206. Epub 2012 Sep 17.


Observational and clinical studies suggest that dairy intake, particularly low-fat dairy, could have a beneficial effect on blood pressure. We performed a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies on dairy intake and risk of hypertension in the general population. A systematic literature search for eligible studies was conducted until July 2011, using literature databases and hand search. Study-specific dose-response associations were computed according to the generalized least squares for trend estimation method, and linear and piecewise regression models were created. Random-effects models were performed with summarized dose-response data. We included 9 studies with a sample size of 57 256, a total of 15 367 incident hypertension cases, and a follow-up time between 2 and 15 years. Total dairy (9 studies; range of intake, ≈100-700 g/d), low-fat dairy (6 studies; ≈100-500 g/d), and milk (7 studies; ≈100-500 g/d) were inversely and linearly associated with a lower risk of hypertension. The pooled relative risks per 200 g/d were 0.97 (95% CI, 0.95-0.99) for total dairy, 0.96 (95% CI, 0.93-0.99) for low-fat dairy, and 0.96 (95% CI, 0.94-0.98) for milk. High-fat dairy (6 studies), total fermented dairy (4 studies), yogurt (5 studies), and cheese (8 studies) were not significantly associated with hypertension incidence (pooled relative risks of ≈1). This meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies suggests that low-fat dairy and milk could contribute to the prevention of hypertension, which needs confirmation in randomized controlled trials.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / physiology*
  • Cheese
  • Dairy Products*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / physiopathology*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk
  • Prospective Studies
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Yogurt


  • Dietary Fats