Better diet quality scores are associated with a lower risk of hypertension and non-fatal CVD in middle-aged Australian women over 15 years of follow-up

Jacklyn K. Jackson, Lesley K. MacDonald-Wicks, Mark A. McEvoy, Peta M. Forder, Carl Holder, Christopher Oldmeadow, Julie E. Byles, Amanda J. Patterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To explore if better diet quality scores as a measure of adherence to the Australian Dietary Guidelines (ADG) and the Mediterranean diet (MedDiet) are associated with a lower incidence of hypertension and non-fatal CVD.Design: Prospective analysis of the 1946-1951 cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH). The Australian Recommended Foods Score (ARFS) was calculated as an indicator of adherence to the ADG; the Mediterranean Diet Score (MDS) measured adherence to the MedDiet. Outcomes included hypertension and non-fatal CVD. Generalised estimating equations estimated OR and 95 % CI across quartiles of diet quality scores.Setting: Australia, 2001-2016.Participants: 1946-1951 cohort of the ALSWH (n 5324), without CVD, hypertension and diabetes at baseline (2001), with complete FFQ data.Results: There were 1342 new cases of hypertension and 629 new cases of non-fatal CVD over 15 years of follow-up. Multivariate analysis indicated that women reporting better adherence to the ARFS (≥38/74) had 15 % (95 % CI 1, 28 %; P = 0·05) lower odds of hypertension and 46 % (95 % CI 6, 66 %; P = 0·1) lower odds of non-fatal CVD. Women reporting better adherence to the MDS (≥8/17) had 27 % (95 % CI 15, 47 %; P = 0·0006) lower odds of hypertension and 30 % (95 % CI 2, 50 %; P = 0·03) lower odds of non-fatal CVD.Conclusions: Better adherence to diet quality scores is associated with lower risk of hypertension and non-fatal CVD. These results support the need for updated evidenced based on the ADG as well as public health nutrition policies in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)882-893
Number of pages12
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Apr 2020


  • Diet quality
  • Dietary guidelines
  • Hypertension
  • Mediterranean diet
  • Non-fatal CVD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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