Fat Intake and Hypertension Among Adults in China: The Modifying Effects of Fruit and Vegetable Intake

Published:November 14, 2019DOI:


      Evidence on the combined effect of fruit and vegetable intake and total fat intake on hypertension is scarce. This study aimed to explore the relationship among fruit and vegetable intake, fat intake, and hypertension risk among Chinese adults.


      Individuals who participated in the China Health and Nutrition Survey (2004, 2006, 2009, and 2011) and were free of hypertension at baseline (n=4,368) were categorized into quartiles (Q1, lowest; Q4, highest) according to their dietary fruit and vegetable intake and fat intake. Generalized estimation equation models, adjusted for confounders, were used to explore the relationship of fat intake with hypertension and systolic and diastolic blood pressure among all adults and within quartiles of fruit and vegetable intake. Data analyses were performed in 2018.


      A total of 1,086 adults developed hypertension during follow-up. In the total population, the OR of the highest quartile of fat intake was 1.40 (95% CI=1.12, 1.75) compared with the lowest. Among individuals with low fruit and vegetable intake, the odds of hypertension for those in Q3 (OR=1.97, 95% CI=1.37, 2.83) and Q4 (OR=1.81, 95% CI=1.14, 2.90) of fat intake, compared with individuals in Q1, were even higher than for the overall sample. For each 50-gram increase in FI per day, the ORs of hypertension increased from fat intake Q1 to Q4 among all respondents and those with low fruit and vegetable intake, but not among those with high fruit and vegetable intake. Systolic blood pressure increased by 1.08 mm Hg (95% CI=0.03, 2.13) per 50-gram fat intake per day increment in the fruit and vegetable intake Q1 group, whereas the association was not significant in the fruit and vegetable intake Q2–Q4 groups.


      Fruit and vegetable intake modifies the relationship between fat intake and hypertension, whereby high fruit and vegetable intake may offset the detrimental effect of fat intake on hypertension. Increased fruit and vegetable intake and controlled fat intake are recommended to prevent hypertension in Chinese adults.
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