A prospective study of nutritional factors and hypertension among US women

J. C.M. Witteman, W. C. Willett, M. J. Stampfer, G. A. Colditz, F. M. Sacks, F. E. Speizer, B. Rosner, C. H. Hennekens

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298 Scopus citations


The relation of various nutritional factors with hypertension was examined prospectively among 58,218 predominantly white US female registered nurses, aged 35-59 years. In 1980, all women completed an endependently validated dietary questionnaire. During 4 years of follow-up, 3,275 women reported a diagnosis of hypertension; the validity of the self-report was shown in a subsample. Age, relative weight, and alcohol consumption were the strongest predictors for the development of hypertension. Dietary calcium and magnesium had independent and significant inverse associations with hypertension. For women with a calcium intake of at least 800 mg/day, the relative risk of hypertension was 0.78 (95% confidence interval, 0.69-0.88) when compared with an intake of less than 400 mg/day. The relative risk for magnesium intake of 300 mg/day or more cmpared with an intake of less than 200 mg/day was 0.77 (95% confidence interval, 0.67-0.88). For women with high intakes of both calcium and magnesium compared with those having low intakes of both, the relative risk of hypertension was 0.65 (95% confidence interval, 0.53-0.80). No independent associations with hypertension were observed for intakes of potassium, fiber, and saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These prospective findings add to the growing evidence to support the need for randomized trials to determine whether there is a protective role of dietary calcium and magnesium in the regulation of blood pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1320-1327
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1989


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