BACKGROUND AND AIM: Despite a growing body of evidence from Western populations on the health benefits of Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diets, their applicability in South East Asian settings is not clear. We examined cross-sectional associations between DASH diet and cardio-metabolic risk factors among 1837 Malaysian and 2898 Philippines participants in a multi-national cohort.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Blood pressures, fasting lipid profile and fasting glucose were measured, and DASH score was computed based on a 22-item food frequency questionnaire. Older individuals, women, those not consuming alcohol and those undertaking regular physical activity were more likely to have higher DASH scores. In the Malaysian cohort, while total DASH score was not significantly associated with cardio-metabolic risk factors after adjusting for confounders, significant associations were observed for intake of green vegetable [0.011, standard error (SE): 0.004], and red and processed meat (-0.009, SE: 0.004) with total cholesterol. In the Philippines cohort, a 5-unit increase in total DASH score was significantly and inversely associated with systolic blood pressure (-1.41, SE: 0.40), diastolic blood pressure (-1.09, SE: 0.28), total cholesterol (-0.015, SE: 0.005), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-0.025, SE: 0.008), and triglyceride (-0.034, SE: 0.012) after adjusting for socio-demographic and lifestyle groups. Intake of milk and dairy products, red and processed meat, and sugared drinks were found to significantly associated with most risk factors.
CONCLUSIONS: Differential associations of DASH diet and dietary components with cardio-metabolic risk factors by country suggest the need for country-specific tailoring of dietary interventions to improve cardio-metabolic risk profiles.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.