The Effect of Dietary Fats and Salt on Arterial Stiffness and Central Pulse Pressure as Cardiovascular Disease Risk Predictors in Young Adults
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Introduction and Objective: High intakes of dietary salt and fats and the polyunsaturated : saturated fat (P:S) ratio are linked with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Augmentation index (AIx), a surrogate measure of artery stiffness, and central pulse pressure (CPP) are two methods of evaluating CVD risk, however little evidence surrounds the relationship between dietary intakes of salt and fat and AIx or CPP. Therefore research into the recommended daily amounts (RDAs) of dietary salt and fats on CVD risk in young adults is needed. Methods: 23 male and female Caucasians ((mean ± SD) aged 21.1 ±1.1 years, BMI 23.1 ±2.4 kg/m2) fulfilled the study criteria, completing a 3 day food diary prior to testing. Height and weight measurements were taken. Blood pressure was recorded using a validated oscillometric technique, and AIx and CPP were recorded through applanation tonometry of the radial artery, and performing wave reflection analysis. Results: Strong correlation between salt, saturated fat and AIx indicated consuming above the RDA would greatly increase CVD risk (p <0.001 and 0.004 respectively), however no correlations with CPP were found. Using the P:S ratio showed the lower half of participants having elevated AIx and central pulse pressure (p <0.001 and 0.029 respectively). Conclusions: In conclusion, this study demonstrated how intakes of salt and saturated fat above the RDA greatly increase AIx and therefore CVD risk. The P: S ratio showed how using total fat intake alone may not be suitable for predicting CVD. The effects seen on AIx but not CPP may imply artery stiffness in young people is a result of reversible restrictions on vasodilation affecting endothelial function and elasticity rather than increased blood pressure or larger arterial walls.
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