Background and Objectives: There is growing evidence supporting the association between ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption and metabolic disease risk. However, little is known about the association between UPF consumption and blood pressure (BP). Thus, this study examined the association between UPF consumption and elevated BP in Korean adults. Methods: This study used data from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2016-2018) and included 9,188 participants aged 30-79 years without a history of hypertension diagnosis. Food items reported in a one-day 24-hour recall were categorized on the basis of the NOVA (not an acronym) food classification criteria. UPF consumption was estimated as the contribution to total energy intake. Elevated BP was defined as systolic BP ≥120 mmHg or diastolic BP ≥80 mmHg. The independent association between UPF consumption and elevated BP was assessed by multivariable logistic regression analysis. Results: The upper tertile of UPF consumption was significantly associated with elevated BP compared with the lower tertile, after adjusting for potential confounders. A linear trend was observed for elevated BP across the tertiles of the dietary energy contribution of UPF. Similar results were found in stratified analyses by age group, smoking, obesity, and overall dietary quality. However, a marginal level of association was found in some subgroups, current smokers, and non-obese adults. Conclusions: The dietary energy contribution of UPF consumption was positively associated with increased prevalence of elevated BP, and these findings suggest that lowering UPF consumption might help prevent BP elevation.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine