Dairy product consumption and hypertension risk in a prospective French cohort of women.
BACKGROUND: Among potentially modifiable factors, dairy product consumption has been inconsistently associated with hypertension risk. The objective of this study was to investigate the relation between dairy product consumption and the risk of hypertension among middle-aged women. METHODS: In a prospective cohort of 40,526 French women, there were 9340 new cases of hypertension after an average 12.2 years of follow up. Consumptions of milk, yogurt, and types of cheese were assessed at baseline using a validated dietary questionnaire. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for hypertension were estimated with multivariate Cox models with age as the time scale. RESULTS: The mean dairy consumption was 2.2 + 1.2 servings/day, as cottage cheese (0.2 + 0.2 servings/day), yogurt (0.6 + 0.5 servings/day), milk (0.4 + 0.7 servings/day), and cheese (1.1 + 0.8 servings/day). There was no association between risk of hypertension and total dairy consumption (multivariate HR for the fifth vs. first quintile HR5vs.1 = 0.97 [0.91; 1.04]). There was no association with any specific type of dairy, except for a positive association between processed cheese consumption and hypertension (multivariate HR4vs.1 = 1.12 [1.06; 1.18]; p trend = < 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: In this large prospective cohort of French women, overall consumption of dairy products was not associated with the risk of hypertension. Results regarding processed cheese must be further confirmed.