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Association between fat amount of dairy products with pulse wave velocity and carotid intima-media thickness in adults

Jose I Recio-Rodriguez14*, Manuel A Gomez-Marcos1, Maria-C Patino-Alonso2, Alvaro Sanchez3, Cristina Agudo-Conde1, Jose A Maderuelo-Fernandez1, Luis Garcia-Ortiz1 and on behalf of the EVIDENT Group

Author Affiliations

1 La Alamedilla Health Centre, Castilla y León Health Service–SACYL, redIAPP, IBSAL, Salamanca, Spain

2 Statistics Department, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain

3 Primary Care Research Unit of Bizkaia, Basque Health Service-Osakidetza, Bilbao, Spain

4 Unidad de Investigación, Centro de Salud La Alamedilla, Avda. Comuneros 27-31, 37003 Salamanca, Spain

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Nutrition Journal 2014, 13:37  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-13-37

Published: 24 April 2014



Examine the relation between consumption of low-fat vs. whole-fat dairy products with the carotid intima-media thickness and pulse wave velocity.


Methods: Cross-sectional and multi-center study. A total of 265 subjects were selected by stratified random sampling. Measurements: Information about dairy products was assessed using a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) was measured by carotid ultrasonography. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) was measured using the SphygmoCor-System.


Subjects (age 55.8 ± 12.2) had mean values of IMT 0.68 ± 0.10 mm and PWV 7.60 ± 2.0 m/sec. The relationship between PWV and IMT with whole-fat and low-fat dairy intake groups, adjusted for age, sex, energy intake and other confounders revealed lower values of PWV in subjects with a consumption higher than 125 g/day of low-fat dairy and in those who did not intake whole-fat dairy. In a risk-factor adjusted regression model, an increase in PWV of 0.109 m/sec (95% CI: 0.006 –0.213) was estimated for every 100 g/day increase in whole-fat dairy intake. Similarly, a decrease in PWV of 0.101 m/sec (95% CI: −0.178 –0.023) was estimated for every 100 g/day increase in low-fat dairy intake, (p = 0.038 and p = 0.011 respectively). While for every 100 g/day increase in low-fat dairy intake, the estimate decrease of IMT was 0.005 mm (95% CI: −0.010 –0.001), p = 0.011.


PWV and IMT showed an inverse association with the intake of low-fat dairy and a positive association with the intake of whole-fat dairy, so the amount of fat in dairy products can play an important role in arterial stiffness and subclinical atherosclerosis.

Dairy products; Diet; Fat-restricted; Atherosclerosis; Pulse wave analysis; Carotid artery diseases