11 april 2024

Adherence to the Mediterranean diet and 20-year incidence of hypertension: the ATTICA prospective epidemiological study (2002-2022)

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Dietary habits are a significant predictor of hypertension (HTN). We aimed to evaluate the long-term association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and HTN incidence.

SUBJECTS/METHODS: This was a prospective study among 1415 non-hypertensive adults (44% men, age: 41 +/- 13 years) followed up for 20 years. Anthropometric, lifestyle, and clinical parameters were evaluated at baseline. Adherence to the Mediterranean diet was evaluated both at baseline and 10 years through the MedDietScore (range: 0-55, higher values indicate greater adherence).

RESULTS: At the 20-year follow-up, 314 new HTN cases were recorded. HTN incidence was 35.5%, 22.5%, and 8.7% in the lowest, middle, and upper tertile of baseline MedDietScore, respectively (p < 0.001). For each 1-point increase in baseline MedDietScore, the 20-year HTN risk decreased by 7% [relative risk (RR): 0.925, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.906, 0.943], and this effect remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, and baseline lifestyle and clinical confounders, i.e., body mass index, physical activity, smoking, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, family history of HTN, and presence of hypercholesterolemia and diabetes mellitus (RR: 0.973, 95%CI: 0.949, 0.997). In a similar multiadjusted model, compared to subjects who were consistently away from the Mediterranean diet (in the lowest MedDietScore tertile both at baseline and 10 years), only those who were consistently close (in the middle and upper MedDietScore tertiles both at baseline and 10 years) exhibited a 47% lower 20-year HTN risk.

CONCLUSION: A high adherence to the Mediterranean diet, particularly when longitudinally sustained, is associated with lower incidence of HTN.

Additional Info

  • Authors

    Georgoulis M.; Damigou E.; Derdelakou E.; Kosti R. I.; Chrysohoou C.; Barkas F.; Kravvariti E.; Tsioufis C.; Pitsavos C.; Liberopoulos E.; Sfikakis P. P.; Panagiotakos D. B.
  • Issue

    Periodical: Eur J Clin Nutr - Edition: 20240411
  • Published Date

    11 april 2024