Hypertension-related dietary patterns of rural older adults

Kristie J. Lancaster, Helen Smiciklas-Wright, Lindsay B. Weitzel, Diane C. Mitchell, Janet M. Friedmann, Gordon L. Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Prevalence of hypertension is greater in older adults, and increased intake of fruits, vegetables, and dairy - good sources of potassium, calcium, and magnesium - can reduce blood pressure. This study examined the hypertension-related dietary patterns of older adults. Methods. A cohort of 180 Pennsylvania adults (aged ≥65), 90 with hypertension, were randomly selected from the Geisinger Rural Aging Study (GRAS). Data were collected by trained interviewers at a home visit. Dietary assessment used five 24-h recalls. We compared the characteristics and dietary intake of people with hypertension to those without hypertension and compared their intakes to current recommendations. Results. Mean intakes of all participants were less than two thirds of the DRI for calcium and magnesium and fell far short of the 3,500 mg of potassium recommended for prevention and treatment of hypertension. Participants with hypertension consumed less sodium than controls. Both groups ate fewer fruits and vegetables than recommended but reached the dairy recommendation. Calcium intake was mainly from high-fat dairy products, beans were the top source of potassium and magnesium. Conclusions. Older adults with hypertension should be guided to choose more low-fat dairy products and other low-fat calcium sources and to increase intakes of beans, dark green leafy vegetables, and other potassium and magnesium sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-818
Number of pages7
JournalPreventive Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Aged
  • Diet
  • Hypertension
  • Older adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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