The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet lowers blood pressure, But what is the effect on stroke and coronary heart disease?

Here’s an estimate from research reported during the American Heart Association 2007 Scientific Sessions and published on Medscape.

First, the details.

  • The researchers recorded adherence to the DASH-style diet among 88,517 women who were enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study prior to the development of the DASH diet per se but who provided dietary information 5 times during 22 years of follow-up beginning in 1980.
  • The DASH diet is described in detail here.

And, the results.

  • There was a 24% reduction in coronary heart disease and an 18% reduction in stroke among women who appeared to adhere more closely to this pattern of eating, which is high in fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products and low in red and processed meats, sweetened beverages, and sodium.

The DASH diet is advocated by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the American Heart Association; and the US Department of Agriculture as a healthy eating pattern.

12/1/07 15:37 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.