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.
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.
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.
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.
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.