Change in DASH diet score and cardiovascular risk factors in youth with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus: The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study

Nutr Diabetes. 2013 Oct 14;3(10):e91. doi: 10.1038/nutd.2013.32.


Youth with diabetes are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet has been shown to improve CVD risk. In this study, we evaluated whether changes in diet quality as characterized by DASH are associated with changes in CVD risk factors in youth with diabetes over time. Longitudinal mixed models were applied to data from 797 participants in the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study representing three time points: baseline, 12- and 60-month follow-up. Data were restricted to youth whose diabetes was first diagnosed in 2002-2005. DASH-related adherence was poor and changed very little over time. However, an increase in DASH diet score was significantly associated with a decrease in HbA1c levels in youth with type 1 diabetes (β=-0.20, P-value=0.0063) and a decrease in systolic blood pressure among youth with type 2 diabetes (β=-2.02, P-value=0.0406). Improvements in dietary quality may be beneficial in youth with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. However, further work in larger groups of youth with type 1 and 2 diabetes is desirable.