Calcium-rich foods and blood pressure: Findings from the Italian national research council study (the nine communities study)

Maurizio Trevisan, Vittorio Krogh, Eduardo Farinaro, Salvatore Panico, Mario Mancini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present report analyzes the relation between different categories of consumption of varied calcium-rich foods and blood pressure In a population sample of 5,049 Italian men and women aged 20-59, examined between November 1978 and May 1979. The consumption pattern of the various foods was estimated with the use of a food frequency questionnaire. The findings are consistent with an inverse association between whole milk consumption and systolic, but not diastotlc, blood pressure. Daily consumption of cheese, on the other hand, Is not associated with reduced blood pressure levels. The possibility of an adverse effect of the high saturated fats and sodium content on blood pressure that could counteract the beneficial effect of calcium is discussed. Daily skim milk consumption Is surprisingly associated with higher systolic, but not diastolic, pressure, compared with Infrequent consumption. The possibility of these findings being the result of pre-existing health problems leading to the selection of skim milk over whole milk is discussed. Daily consumption of legumes is associated with lower systolic pressure than infrequent consumption, but the differences do not reach statistical significance, probably because of limited statistical power. These associations are similar In both males and females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1155-1163
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1988


  • Blood pressure
  • Calcium, dietary
  • Cheese
  • Hypertension
  • Legumes
  • Milk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Epidemiology


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