Healthy dietary patterns linked to better CV health in Hispanic, Latino individuals - freetxp

Healthy dietary patterns linked to better CV health in Hispanic, Latino individuals

March 03, 2022

4 min read



Chen YY, et al. Presentation 20. Presented at: Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Scientific Sessions; March 1-4, 2022; Chicago.

The authors of both studies report no relevant financial disclosures.

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Dietary patterns varied among Hispanic/Latino background groups, but healthier diet scores were associated with reduced CVD risk and lower odds of developing hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, two speakers reported.

According to study findings presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Scientific Sessions, higher dietary scores were associated with lower risk for CVD across the Hispanic/Latino group background, regardless of whether the individual was born in the US or not .

A selection of healthy items.
Source: Adobe Stock

According to results from a second study, lower intake of solid fats, refined grains and cheese and higher intake of vegetables, oil and fruits were associated with lower risk for any hypertensive disorders of pregnancy among Hispanic/Latina women.

Dietary score and CVD risk

“Our research demonstrates that higher scores in any of the three heart-healthy dietary patterns are associated with lower cardiovascular risk, suggesting that it may not be necessary to conform to one specific dietary pattern to achieve better cardiovascular health. Thus, people may have more choices for healthy diets,” Yi-Yun Chen, MD, MScresident at Jacobi Medical Center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, said in a press release.

For this analysis, researchers included 10,766 adults from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos with no known CVD at baseline. Participant backgrounds included Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, Central American and South American. Individual dietary scores were based on 24-hour dietary recalls at baseline, using three dietary quality indices: the Alternate Mediterranean diet, the Healthy Eating Index-2015 and the healthy Plant-based Diet Index.

“These diets share several similar components, such as higher consumption of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and legumes,” Chen said in the release. “Higher dietary scores for each of the three diets represent better individual healthy eating patterns.”

The primary outcome was a composite of a major incident CVD, including CHD and stroke, during an average follow-up of 6 years.

Chen reported that average dietary quality indices score varied widely between all background groups (P for all < .001), with the highest and healthiest observed among Mexican participants and the lowest among Puerto Rican participants.

Hispanic/Latino individuals who were US-born had lower dietary quality scores compared with those born outside the US (P for all < .001). According to the presentation, the differences were primarily driven by intake of healthy plant-based foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts.

Chen reported lower relative CVD risk among participants in the highest tertile of adherence to healthy eating pattern measured by the three dietary indices compared with those in the lowest tertile:

  • the Alternate Mediterranean diet (RR = 0.54; 95% CI, 0.37-0.81; P for trend = .002);
  • the Healthy Eating Index-2015 (RR = 0.64; 95% CI, 0.39-1.05; P for trend = .033); and
  • the healthful Plant-based Diet Index (RR = 0.56; 95% CI, 0.35-0.88; P for trend = .009).

Moreover, the associations between dietary quality scores and risk for CVD was no different with regard to Hispanic/Latino backgrounds (P for interaction for all .24) or place of birth (P for interaction for all .25).

“Since greater adherence to all three healthy dietary patterns was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, we suggest that increasing the consumption of healthy, plant-based foods may help the younger generation achieve better health similar to their relatives who were born outside the US,” Chen said in the release.

Dietary pattern in pregnancy

For this second study, Luis E. Maldonado, PhD, MPHpostdoctoral scholar and research associate in the department of population and public health sciences at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleaguesd the impact of dietary patters on risk for hypertensive disorders of pregnancy among Hispanic/Latina women.

The researchers included 464 participants in the MADRES study, a cohort predominantly consisting of Hispanic/Latina women in Los Angeles. Participants completed up to two 24-hour dietary recalls during their third trimester of pregnancy. Data on hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were gathered using maternal medical records. Dietary patterns of interest included the solid fats, refined grains and cheese (SRC) diet, the vegetables, oil and fruits (VOF) diet and the Healthy Eating Index-2015. The primary outcomes were any hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, gestational hypertension or preeclampsia.

Maldonado and colleagues observed a hypertensive disorder of pregnancy in 21.6% of the cohort, gestational hypertension in 6.67% and preeclampsia in 12.1%.

The highest quartile of SRC dietary pattern intake was associated with greater odds of having any hypertensive disorder of pregnancy (OR = 3.5; 95% CI, 1.34-9.1; P for trend = .01) and preeclampsia (OR = 3.59; 95% CI, 1.11-11.62; P for trend = .058) compared with the lowest quartile, especially among women with gestational diabetes (P for hypertensive disorder of pregnancy = .008; P for preeclampsia = .01).

In contrast, the VOF dietary pattern was associated with lower odds of preeclampsia among individuals in the highest quartile of intake compared with the lowest (OR = 0.33; 95% CI, 0.12-0.93; P for trend = .031).

Researchers observed no association between Healthy Eating Index-2015 score and likelihood of hypertensive disorder of pregnancy, gestational hypertension or preeclampsia.

“Our study findings relatively suggest that a diet with higher intakes of non-starchy vegetables, oils and fruit may lower the likelihood of developing a high blood pressure disorder during pregnancy, among our study group of predominantly low-income Hispanic/Latina women,” Maldonado said in a press release. “Conversely, a diet with relatively higher intakes of solid fat, refined grains and cheese may increase the likelihood of a diagnosis of a serious condition, called preeclampsia.”


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