Background and aims A pro-inflammatory diet is thought to lead to hypertension through oxidative stress and vessel wall inflammation. We therefore investigated the association between the dietary inflammatory index (DII) and developing hypertension in a population-based cohort of middle-aged women.
Methods and results The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health included 7169 Australian women, aged 52 years (SD 1 year) at baseline in 2001, who were followed up through 4 surveys until 2013. The DII, a literature-derived dietary index that has been validated against several inflammatory markers, was calculated based on data collected via a validated food-frequency questionnaire administered at baseline. Hypertension was defined as new onset of doctor-diagnosed hypertension, ascertained through self-report between 2001 and 2013. Generalised Estimating Equation analyses were used to investigate the association between the DII and incident hypertension. The analyses were adjusted for demographic and hypertension risk factors. During 12-years follow-up we identified 1680 incident cases of hypertension. A more pro-inflammatory diet was associated with higher risk of hypertension in dichotomised analyses with an ORfully adjustedof 1.24, 95% CI: 1.06-1.45.
Conclusion A pro-inflammatory diet might lead to a higher risk of developing hypertension. These results need to be replicated in other studies.