Background Low salt consumption and high fruit & vegetable intake (FVI) have been shown to reduce blood pressure (BP) in adults. To date, longitudinal data regarding the relative effect strength of FVI and salt intake (SI) on BP development during growth is not available. We aimed to characterize the long term concomitant influences of SI and FVI on the BP development during childhood and adolescence.
Methods 435 healthy children and adolescents (aged 4–18 years), who had at least 3 repeated measurements of BP, 24-h urine collections, and 3-d weighed dietary records, were examined. Systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) were determined by mercury sphygmomanometer using auscultatory method. SI was estimated by measurement of 24h-sodium-excretion.
Results SI tended to be positively associated with SBP (p<0.1) in the pubertal group (aged 11–18yrs). An increase of 1g/d of SI was related to an increase of 0.2 mmHg SBP. SI was not associated with DBP or SBP in prepubertal children (aged 4–10yrs). FVI was negatively associated with SBP (p<0.05) and DBP (p<0.1, trend) in 4–10 yr-olds. The increase of SBP by a 100 g/d decrease in FVI was comparable with the increase of SBP by a 1g/d increase in SI. No FVI effect was observed in 11–18 yr-olds.
Conclusion Increased FVI may already be beneficial for BD development during childhood. Unfavorable changes of BD with higher SI were not yet observed during childhood; seem to develop however during adolescence.
Supported by BMELV [grant number 2811HS007].