Background and aim: In adults, there is some evidence that improving diet reduces blood pressure (BP) and the subsequent risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). However, studies that analyse this association in adolescents are still scarce. The objective of the present study was to examine the associations between heart rate, systolic (SBP), diastolic (DBP) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) among European adolescents and usual intake of vegetables, fruits, dairy products, meat, fish, high-sugar foods and savoury snacks.
Methods and results: In total, 2283 adolescents from the HELENA-study (12.5-17.5 years old; 1253 girls) were included. Dietary intake was assessed using two computerized 24-hour dietary recalls. Age, sex, body mass index, maternal educational level, physical activity and Tanner stage were considered as confounders. Associations were examined by mixed model analysis stratified by sex. Tests for trend were assessed by tertiles of intake while controlling for the aforementioned confounders. Dairy products and fish intake were negatively associated with BP and heart rate. Significant decreasing trends were observed for heart rate and BP across tertiles of dairy products, fish intake and high-sugar foods intake (p < 0.05). Significant increasing trends were observed for SBP and MAP across tertiles of savoury snack intake (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Significant but small inverse associations between fish and dairy products consumption with blood pressure and heart rate have been found in European adolescents. Dietary intervention studies are needed to explore these associations in the context of the modification of several risk factors for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Keywords: Dairy products; Diet; Fish intake; Systolic blood pressure.
Copyright © 2016 The Italian Society of Diabetology, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition, and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.