Dietary protein, blood pressure and cardiovascular disease

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‚ÄĎanalysis which summarizes the evidence from intervention and observational studies on the association between dietary protein and BP will be conducted.


More research: Nutrition and cardiovascular disease

More research: Disease aetiology and prevention