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DASH Diet Compliance in Middle-Aged and Elderly Adults With Elevated or High Blood Pressure

      Background (Background, Rationale, Prior Research, and/or Theory): Several studies have shown the cardiovascular health benefits of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). However, individuals with hypertension are less likely to follow DASH than individuals without hypertension.
      Objective: Compare diet quality by sex and age groups among participants receiving two separate education sessions: a 30-minute education on DASH and a following 20-minute education on ASA24™ and DASH at baseline by a registered dietitian.
      Study Design, Setting, Participants, Intervention: Researchers are blinded to the groups in this phase 3 randomized controlled trial of exercise. Participants undergo exercise training three times per week for one year consisting of aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, a combination of both, or delayed exercise (control). Three 24-hour dietary recalls per month are collected from participants using ASA24™. One hundred individuals met the criteria of 3 baseline diet recalls and three recent diet recalls during a 3-month follow-up. Participants had elevated or stage I hypertension, with a mean age of 53 years old, an average BMI of 32 kg/m2, and not on blood pressure medication. Seventy-one percent of these individuals completed 80% or more of their diet recalls within 3 months.
      Outcome Measures and Analysis: Diet quality was assessed by the DASH score. T-tests and Least Square Means (LSM) were used to compare scores between sexes and ages groups. A significance level of .05 was used for statistical tests.
      Results: Men's DASH score at baseline was higher than women's (x¯ females = 2.4, x¯ males = 3.1; P = .04) and ≥56 years old had the highest DASH score compared to the 35–55 year olds at baseline (P < .0001). The 35–45 year olds had the highest DASH score (x¯=3.06; P ≤ 0.0001) compared to the ≥46 year olds (x¯=2.6) at month three. At three months, women had a significant change in the DASH score (women=+0.24, men = -0.34; P ≤ 0.0001).
      Conclusions and Implications: Women's diet quality increased during the first three months of the study, whereas men's diet quality worsened.
      Funding: NIH.

      Supplementary Data

      The following is the supplementary data to this article: