News: DASH diet lowers risk of CHD and stroke in women

July 1, 2008

Diet really does lower the risks for coronary heart disease and stroke among middle-aged women.

Twenty-four years of follow-up shows that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet really does lower the risks for coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke among middle-aged women.

For 24 years, researchers from Boston and Atlanta followed over 88,000 female nurses aged 34 to 59 years without a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or diabetes in 1980. The diet purports a high intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, moderate intake of legumes, nuts, and low-fat dairy products, and low intake of red and processed meats and sodium.

After adjusting for age, smoking, and other cardiovascular risk factors, the authors calculated the relative risks for CHD and stroke across quintiles of the DASH score to be 1.0, 0.99, 0.86, 0.87, and 0.76 (95% CI, 0.67–0.85, P<.001 for trend) and 1.0, 0.92, 0.91, 0.89, and 0.82 (P=.002 for trend), respectively.

Fung TT, Chiuve SE, McCullough ML, et al. Adherence to a DASH-style diet and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in women. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168:713-720.