Dietary polyphenol intake and risk of hypertension in the Polish arm of the HAPIEE study

Eur J Nutr. 2018 Jun;57(4):1535-1544. doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1438-7. Epub 2017 May 4.


Purpose: Dietary polyphenols have been studied for their potential effects on metabolic disorders, but studies on risk of hypertension are scarce. This study aimed to test the association between total and individual classes of dietary polyphenols and incidence of hypertension in the Polish arm of the Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial factors In Eastern Europe (HAPIEE) study.

Methods: A total of 2725 participants free of hypertension at baseline were tested for blood pressure or taking hypertensive medication within the last 2 weeks at 2-4-year follow-up visit. A 148-item food frequency questionnaire and the Phenol-Explorer database were used to estimate dietary polyphenol intake. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of hypertension comparing the various categories of exposure (total and individual classes of polyphenol intake) with the lowest one (reference category) were calculated by performing age- and energy-adjusted and multivariate-adjusted logistic regression models.

Results: During follow-up, 1735 incident cases of hypertension occurred. The highest quartile of total polyphenol intake was associated with 31% decreased risk of hypertension compared with the lowest intake (OR 0.69, 95% CI 0.48, 0.98) in women. There was no significant association in men. Among main classes of polyphenols, flavonoids and phenolic acids were independent contributors to this association. The analysis of individual subclasses of polyphenol revealed that, among phenolic acids, hydroxycynnamic acids were independently associated to lower odds of hypertension (OR 0.66, 95% CI 0.47, 0.93), while among flavonoids, most of the association was driven by flavanols (OR 0.56, 95% CI 0.36, 0.87).

Conclusion: Certain classes of dietary polyphenols were associated with lower risk of hypertension, but potential differences between men and women should be further investigated.

Keywords: Dietary polyphenols; Flavanols; Flavonoids; Hypertension; Phenolic acids.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poland
  • Polyphenols / administration & dosage*
  • Prospective Studies


  • Polyphenols