The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Long-term benefits of the DASH diet

    The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet lowers blood pressure, but what about its long-term effect on the risk of heart disease and stroke?

    First, the details.

    • 88,517 female nurses aged 34 to 59 years with no history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes in 1980 were studied.
    • Their diet was assessed prospectively 7 times over 24 years (1980-2004) using questionnaires.

    And, the results.

    • There were 2129 cases of nonfatal heart attacks, 976 deaths due to coronary heart disease, and 3105 cases of stroke.
    • After adjusting for age, smoking, and other cardiovascular risk factors, the relative risks of heart disease and stroke were significantly lower with DASH.
    • DASH was significantly associated with lower plasma levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin 6.
      • Arterial damage is thought to result from inflammation due to chemical insults.
      • CRP is a marker for inflammation and can be used as a proxy for heart disease risk.
      • Interleukin-6, also associated with inflammation, has been linked with heart disease.

    The bottom line?
    Over more than 2 decades, women who followed the DASH-style diet had a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.

    The DASH-style diet is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat; and high in fruits and vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat milk products. Here’s more background on the diet in the book, Hypertension and Stroke 2007.

    4/14/08 18:56 JR

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