Background: High blood pressure (HBP) is a major cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor. Clinical trials including Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) have demonstrated beneficial effects of dairy consumption on risks of HBP and CVD. Yogurt, a fermented dairy product, may independently be related to CVD risk.
Objective: To evaluate the association between yogurt consumption and CVD risk among hypertensive individuals in 2 large cohorts and to determine whether the association differs among those whose eating pattern more closely resembles the DASH diet.
Methods: Overall, 55,898 female Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and 18,232 male Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS) participants with prevalent HBP were included. Cumulative average estimates of yogurt intake from validated food frequency questionnaires were related to verified self-reported CVD outcomes using Cox proportional hazards models. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were adjusted for CVD risk factors, medications, and diet covariates.
Results: Yogurt intake was inversely associated with CVD risk (myocardial infarction and stroke) among hypertensive participants (P <0.01 in both cohorts). Among participants consuming ≥2 servings/week of yogurt, NHS women had a 17% (95% CI: 0.74-0.92) lower risk while HPFS men experienced a 21% (95% CI: 0.66-0.96) lower CVD risk compared to those who consumed <1 serving/month. Regular yogurt consumers with higher DASH diet scores had 16% (95% CI: 0.73-0.96) and 30% (95% CI: 0.57-0.85) CVD risk reductions in the 2 cohorts, respectively.
Conclusion: Hypertensive men and women who consumed ≥2 servings/week of yogurt, especially in the context of a healthy diet, were at lower risk for developing CVD.