Dietary Deficiencies Linked to Elevated BP in Adolescents of Color
With volumes of research pointing to the importance of our growth years and adult chronic diseases, does anyone really believe that our lifespans are going to increase? If we want to have the most important aspects on our country’s health as a whole, we HAVE to focus on the children.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2000;154:918-922 Adding to the mounting evidence of the effect of diet on hypertension, a new report suggests that among urban minority adolescents, diets deficient in a range of nutrients may contribute to elevated screening blood pressure levels. Dr. Bonita Falkner and colleagues from Thomas Jefferson University, in Philadelphia, collected data on 108 boys and 72 girls between 14 and 16 years of age, 79% African American and 21% Hispanic. All subjects had blood pressure higher than the 90th percentile. Dr. Falkner’s group obtained folic acid measurements as an index of fruit, vegetable and whole grain intake, and they obtained a 24-hour food intake recall. “Mean diastolic blood pressure was significantly higher in the low-folate group versus the high-folate group (boys: 72 versus 67 mm Hg; girls: 76 versus 73 mm Hg),” the researchers write. Dr. Falkner’s group reports that the intake of potassium, calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, ch! olecalciferol, vitamin E and all B vitamins was significantly lower in the low-folate group compared with the high-folate group. The investigators note that their findings are consistent with the “dietary benefits on blood pressure level observed in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trial.” Diet, they believe, may be an approach to “primary prevention of hypertension when instituted at an early age.”