Objective: Obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease that increases aortic stiffness, which predicts future cardiovascular events. Additionally, obesity is associated with overconsumption, which contributes to aortic stiffening. Recent work has highlighted the role of various foods and nutrients on aortic stiffness among the general population. The objective of the present study was to explore the influence of dietary factors on obesity-associated aortic stiffness, as food choices might be a potential explanation for accelerated aortic stiffening in obesity rather than overconsumption alone.
Methods: Data collected in our laboratory were evaluated in aggregate considering obese men with available measures of aortic stiffness and habitual dietary intake (n = 22). Aortic stiffness was assessed with the gold standard carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, and habitual dietary intake was determined with the National Institutes of Health's Dietary History Questionnaire-II.
Results: Whole grain consumption predicted obesity-associated aortic stiffness in regression analyses (R2 = 0.29, P = 0.010). This correlation remained significant after adjusting for traditional risk factors (age, body mass index, blood pressure) (R2 = 0.27, P = 0.027). Overconsumption determined by daily caloric intake was not predictive of aortic stiffness (R2 = 0.09, P = 0.17) nor was total fiber content (R2 = 0.06, P = 0.29).
Conclusions: These findings suggest a potential role of whole grains to protect against aortic stiffness even when dietary overconsumption is present. Fiber content has been proposed as a major beneficial component in whole grains, but it did not correlate with obesity-related aortic stiffness, suggesting whole grains may have a unique and potentially synergistic role in the protection of obesity-associated aortic health.
Keywords: Adiposity; Cardiovascular; Dysfunction; Fiber; Visceral.
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