DASH Diet May Cut Heart Failure Risk In Elderly: Study

DASH Diet May Cut Heart Failure Risk In Elderly: Study

Hypertension is a condition marked by elevated blood pressure levels. Hypertension patients are often told to be extra careful about their diet.  DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet proven to have beneficial effects on high blood pressure and if the findings of a latest study are to be believed, the diet could also help reduce the risk of developing heart-failure by almost half in people under 75 years, the study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

The DASH Diet includes a lot of eating of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products. One is also asked to limit their consumption of salt, red meat, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages. In terms of dietary options it is not very different from the Mediterranean diet, but DASH diet also recommends eating low-fat dairy products and excludes alcoholic beverages.

The study was observational in nature, more than 4,500 people were analysed for the study. The findings revealed that those individuals under 75 who most closely adhered to the DASH diet had a significantly lower risk of developing heart failure than those whose eating habits were did not adhere with the diet so much.

“Only a few prior studies have examined the effects of the DASH diet on the incidence of heart failure, and they have yielded conflicting results,” said the study’s lead author, Claudia L. Campos, Wake Forest School of Medicine.

“This research showed that following the DASH diet can reduce the risk of developing heart failure by almost half, which is better than any medicine,” added Campos.

The researchers reviewed the cardiovascular health records over 13 years of 4,478 men and women of multiple ethnicities from six the United States sites who were between ages 45 and 84 with no history of cardiovascular disease when they were enrolled in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis between 2000 and 2002.

Scientists assessed their dietary habits was based on their responses to a 120-item questionnaire covering the serving size and frequency of consumption of specific foods and beverages.

Based on this data, the team further divided the participants into five groups, each representing 20 per cent of the study population, based on how their eating habits aligned with the DASH diet.

The risk of heart failure did vary for participants under 75. With those in the group with the highest DASH compliance group had an incidence rate 40 per cent lower than those in the lowest compliance group.

“Heart failure is a frequent cause of hospitalisation in older adults and is associated with substantial health care costs, so identifying modifiable risk factors for heart failure is an important public health goal,” Campos said.

“This research provides a framework for further exploration of the DASH diet as an effective element in the primary prevention of heart failure.