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High-protein diet may promote hypertension

16 May 2019

High rate of calories from protein may contribute to an increased risk of hypertension, as suggested in a recent study.

Researchers looked at a cohort of 89,851 individuals (average age, 46.3 years; 49.1 percent male) to examine the relationship between the prevalence of hypertension and the rate of intake of three major nutrients—carbohydrate, fat and protein.

In the cohort, 13,926 individuals (15.5 percent) had hypertension. Compared with normotensives, hypertensives were more likely to be male, have higher body mass index (BMI), be a smoker, diabetic, have dyslipidaemia, hyperuricemia, more protein diet rate, less fat intake rate, and high salt intake.

According to their dietary history, hypertensive vs normotensive groups had substantially higher intake rate of calories from protein (19.7 percent vs 19.4 percent; p<0.001) but lower rate of calories from fat (16.1 percent vs 16.4 percent; p<0.001). The intake rate of calories from carbohydrate was similar (64.2 percent for both).

Multiple regression analysis revealed an association between high rate of protein intake and high prevalence of hypertension (odds ratio [OR], 1.011; 95 percent CI, 1.005–1.017). This relationship was not observed for fat and salt intakes (p=0.093 and p=0.146, respectively).

Other factors significantly associated with hypertension were ageing (OR, 1.022), male sex (OR, 1.073), higher BMI (OR, 1.040), smoking (OR, 1.161), diabetes (OR, 3.404), dyslipidaemia (OR, 2.294), hyperuricemia (OR, 3.717). The rate of fat intake and the amount of salt intake were not significantly associated with hypertension after multiple adjustments.

The present data suggest that protein-restricted diet may play an important role in the prevention of hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, researchers said.

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