Red meat intake tied to CV target organ damage
Eating red meat may lead to cardiovascular (CV) target organ damage over a 4-year period, according to a recent study involving hypertensive American Indians.
To determine whether red meat consumption is associated with changes in left ventricular mass (LVM), left atrial diameter and carotid atherosclerosis, researchers prospectively analysed echocardiographic and carotid ultrasound data of 1,090 adults aged ≥40 years (535 hypertensive and 555 nonhypertensive) enrolled in the Strong Heart Family Study who were free of CV disease at baseline.
A Block food-frequency questionnaire was used at baseline to ascertain processed and unprocessed red meat consumption. Cardiac and vascular biomarkers were evaluated at baseline and 4 years later.
Researchers used marginal models with multivariate adjustment to investigate the associations of red meat intake with LVM, left atrial diameter, intima‒media thickness, and presence and extent of carotid atherosclerosis.
Participants with hypertension were older, more likely to be diabetic, less physically active and had a higher body mass index.
In male and female hypertensive individuals, consumption of processed and unprocessed red meat was associated with an elevated presence of atherosclerotic plaques. Furthermore, processed meat intake was associated with an increase in intima‒media thickness, atrial diameter but not LVM in male hypertensive participants.
On the other hand, consumption of processed and unprocessed red meat was not associated with changes in cardiac parameters or carotid atherosclerosis in nonhypertensive participants.
“These findings emphasize the importance of dietary measures for cardiovascular disease prevention,” according to researchers.