Jan. 28, 2005 John P. Forman, M.D., of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston and colleagues analyzed data from two studies (93,803 younger women aged 27 to 44 years in the Nurses' Health Study II [1991-1999] and 62,260 older women aged 43 to 70 years in the Nurses' Health Study I [1990-1998]). The participants did not have a history of hypertension. Baseline information on dietary folate and supplemental folic acid intake was derived from food frequency questionnaires and was updated every four years.
Hypertension affects an estimated 65 million individuals in the U.S. and many more worldwide. The purpose of this study was to determine whether higher folate intake is associated with a lower risk of hypertension.
The researchers found that younger women who consumed at least 1,000 micrograms a day of total folate (dietary plus supplemental) had a 46 percent decreased risk of hypertension, compared with those who consumed less than 200 micrograms a day of total folate. Older women with high total folate intake also had a 18 percent reduced risk of hypertension.
(JAMA. 2005;293:320-329. Available post-embargo at JAMA.com)
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