Associations of childhood diet quality scores with arterial stiffness and carotid artery intima-media thickness in adolescence/early adulthood: findings from the ALSPAC cohort

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Abstract

This study examined the relationship between childhood diet quality and arterial stiffness and thickness during adolescence/early adulthood.
Participants were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) with dietary data at ages 7, 10 and 13 years and pulse wave
velocity (PWV) and carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) at ages 17 and/or 24 years. Diet quality (DQ) was assessed using five scores: a
children’s Mediterranean-style diet (C-rMED) Z-score, a children’s Dietary Inflammatory Z-score (C-DIS), a DASH diet Z-score, a children’s
Eatwell Guide (C-EWG) Z-score reflecting UK dietary guidelines and a data-driven obesogenic Z-score. Adjusted regression models examined
the associations between DQ scores at 7–13 years and PWV and cIMT at 17 and 24 years. In adjusted models, a high v. low Obesogenic Z-score at
7 and 10 years was associated with higher PWV at 17: β 0.07 (95 % CI 0.01, 0.13) and β 0.10 (95 % CI 0.04, 0.16), respectively. A high v. low C-rMED
Z-score at 7 years was associated with lower PWV at 17 (β −0.07; 95 % CI −0.14, −0.01). A high (more anti-inflammatory) vs low C-DIS Z-score at
10 years was associated with a lower PWV at 17 years: β −0.06 (95 % CI −0.12, −0.01). No other associations were observed. In conclusion, an
Obesogenic dietary pattern in childhood (7–10 years) was related to increased arterial stiffness, while Mediterranean-style and anti-inflammatory
diets were related to decreased arterial stiffness in adolescence. This highlights the importance of establishing healthy dietary habits early in life
to protect against vascular damage
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)720-735
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Nutrition
Volume131
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The UK Medical Research Council and Wellcome Trust (grant ref: 217065/Z/19/Z) and the University of Bristol provide core support for ALSPAC. This research was funded in whole, or in part, by the Wellcome Trust (076467/Z/05/Z), the British Heart Foundation (CS/15/6/31468) and a British Heart Foundation Research Fellowship (FS/19/3/34255) supported GB’s research. CMT is supported by an MRC Career Development Award (MR/T010010/1). The study funders had no role in the study design, data collection or analysis, or preparation of the manuscript. This publication is the work of the authors and GB, CT, KN and PME will serve as guarantors for the contents of this paper. For the purpose of Open Access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Nutrition Society.

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