We examined gender differences in the association between dietary patterns and the risk of hypertension, using the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study data. A total of 5090 participants (2457 men and 2633 women) aged 40–69 years without hypertension at baseline were selected. Dietary patterns were obtained using factor analysis based on 26 food groups, evaluated by a validated semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire at baseline. Hypertension was defined as systolic blood pressure ≥ 140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥ 90 mmHg, or the use of antihypertensive medication using the biennial measurements. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the associations between dietary patterns and hypertension. Four dietary patterns were extracted: coffee, fat, and sweets; prudent; whole grains and legumes; and traditional (men)/Western (women). Women in the highest tertile of the whole grains and legumes pattern scores showed a lower risk of incident hypertension compared with those in the lowest tertile (hazard ratio = 0.77, 95% confidence interval = 0.59–1.00, p
-trend = 0.048). Other dietary patterns were not associated with hypertension in either men or women. A diet rich in whole grains and legumes is inversely associated with the risk of hypertension in Korean women, suggesting a gender difference in the association between diet and hypertension.
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