Long-term adherence to healthy dietary guidelines and chronic inflammation in the prospective Whitehall II study

Akbaraly, T. N., Shipley, M. J., Ferrie, J. E., Virtanen, M., Lowe, G., Hamer, M. and Kivimaki, M. (2015) Long-term adherence to healthy dietary guidelines and chronic inflammation in the prospective Whitehall II study. American Journal of Medicine, 128(2), 152-160.e4. (doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.10.002)

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Abstract

Background Inflammation plays an important role in the cause of cardiovascular diseases and may contribute to the association linking an unhealthy diet to chronic age-related diseases. However, to date the long-term associations between diet and inflammation have been poorly described. Our aim was to assess the extent to which adherence to a healthy diet and dietary improvements over a 6-year exposure period prevented subsequent chronic inflammation over a 5-year follow-up in a large British population of men and women.

Methods Data were drawn from 4600 adults (mean ± standard deviation, age 49.6 ± 6.1 years, 28% were women) from the prospective Whitehall cohort II study. Adherence to a healthy diet was measured using Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) scores in 1991-1993 (50.7 ± 11.9 points) and 1997-1999 (51.6 ± 12.4 points). Chronic inflammation, defined as average levels of serum interleukin-6 from 2 measures 5 years apart, was assessed in 1997-1999 and 2002-2004.

Results After adjustment for sociodemographic factors, health behaviors, and health status, participants who maintained a high AHEI score (ie, a healthy diet, n = 1736, 37.7%) and those who improved this score over time (n = 681, 14.8%) showed significantly lower mean levels of interleukin-6 (1.84 pg/mL, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.71-1.98 and 1.84 pg/mL, 95% CI, 1.70-1.99, respectively) than those who had a low AHEI score (n = 1594, 34.6%) over the 6-year exposure period (2.01 pg/mL, 95% CI, 1.87-2.17).

Conclusions These data suggest that maintaining and improving adherence to healthy dietary recommendations may reduce the risk of long-term inflammation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lowe, Professor Gordon
Authors: Akbaraly, T. N., Shipley, M. J., Ferrie, J. E., Virtanen, M., Lowe, G., Hamer, M., and Kivimaki, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
Journal Name:American Journal of Medicine
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0002-9343
ISSN (Online):1555-7162
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in American Journal of Medicine 128(2):152-160.e2
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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