An elevated blood pressure (BP) increases the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, and end-stage renal disease. The WHO estimated that about 62% of cerebrovascular disease and 49% of ischaemic heart disease are attributable to suboptimal BP (systolic >115 mmHg). BP is found to be a strong independent predictor of cardiovascular mortality. Most often, this association is based on a single BP measurement in time.
Several determinants are considered important in the aetiology of hypertension. Established lifestyle measures to lower BP are weight loss, enhanced physical activity, reduced intake of alcohol and salt, and the DASH-diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy. The overall aim of the PhD project is to investigate the association between dietary protein, BP and cardiovascular diseases. Firstly, we investigate whether dietary protein and protein-rich foods are associated with BP. Secondly, we will investigate the association between BP and risk of cardiovascular mortality by using BP data from repeated measurements over time.
To explore these two research aims, data from the following five prospective epidemiological studies will be used: the Minnesota Business and Professional Men Study (USA), the PREVEND Study (NL), the Rancho Bernardo Study (USA), the Zutphen Elderly Study (NL), and the Zutphen Study (NL). Moreover, a meta‑analysis which summarizes the evidence from intervention and observational studies on the association between dietary protein and BP will be conducted.
Ten-Year Blood Pressure Trajectories, Cardiovascular Mortality, and Life Years Lost in 2 Extinction Cohorts: the Minnesota Business and Professional Men Study and the Zutphen StudyJournal of the American Heart Association 4 (2015). - ISSN 2047-9980 - 12 p.
Intake of total protein, plant protein and animal protein in relation to blood pressure: a meta-analysis of observatinoal and intervention studiesJournal of Human Hypertension 27 (2013). - ISSN 0950-9240 - p. 564 - 571.
Twenty-four hour urinary urea excretion and 9-year risk of hypertension: the PREVEND studyJournal of Hypertension 31 (2013)8. - ISSN 0263-6352 - p. 1564 - 1569.
Associations of plant and animal protein intake with 5-year changes in blood pressure: The Zutphen Elderly StudyNutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases 24 (2014)11. - ISSN 0939-4753 - p. 1228 - 1233.