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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.
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.
1946–1951 cohort of the ALSWH (n 5324), without CVD, hypertension and diabetes at baseline (2001), with complete FFQ data.
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.
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.