The Association between DASH Diet Adherence and Cardiovascular Risk Factors

Nargeskhatoon Shoaibinobarian, Leila Danehchin, Maedeh Mozafarinia, Azita Hekmatdoost, Sareh Eghtesad, Sahar Masoudi, Zahra Mohammadi, Ali Mard, Yousef Paridar, Farhad Abolnezhadian, Reza Malihi, Zahra Rahimi, Bahman Cheraghian, Mohammad Mahdi Mir‑Nasseri, Ali Akbar Shayesteh, Hossein Poustchi


Background: The dietary approaches to stop hypertension (DASH) encourages high fruit, vegetable, and lean protein consumption and low salt, red meat, and fat intake to prevent or treat hypertension. However, besides hypertension, adherence to this diet has been shown to decrease other cardiovascular risk factors. Methods: This study assessed the relationship between the DASH diet and cardiovascular risk factors in a cross‑sectional study of 2,831 adults chosen by multistage cluster sampling from 27 counties of Khuzestan province, Iran. DASH scores were calculated using data obtained from a qualitative food frequency questionnaire. Regression models were used to evaluate the association of DASH scores and common cardiovascular risk factors. Results: Significant trends were observed across quintiles of DASH scores for systolic blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and its components (p < 0·05). After adjusting for potential confounders such as sex, age, ethnicity, residence, wealth score, physical activity, energy intake, and family history of heart disease, the multiple regression analysis for each cardiovascular risk factor revealed that being in the highest quintile of total DASH score (OR = 0.72, 95% CI 0.52–0.99) was negatively associated with hyperglycemia. Conclusions: This study showed a positive relationship between DASH diet adherence and lower serum levels of glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Prospective studies are needed to confirm these findings.


Cardiovascular diseases; diet therapy; hyperglycemia; hypertension; sodium

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