Dairy Foods and Risk of Stroke

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Abstract

Background:

Consumption of milk and other dairy foods has been associated with reduced risk of stroke, although not all studies have shown this consistently.

Methods:

We examined the association between dairy food intake and risk of stroke subtypes within the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study. Between 1985 and 1988, 26,556 Finnish male smokers aged 50–69 years who had no history of stroke completed a food frequency questionnaire. We used Cox proportional hazards models to estimate relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusted for potential confounders.

Results:

During a mean follow-up of 13.6 years, 2702 cerebral infarctions, 383 intracerebral hemorrhages, and 196 subarachnoid hemorrhages were ascertained. We observed positive associations between whole milk intake and risk of intracerebral hemorrhage (RR = 1.41 for the highest vs. lowest quintile of intake; 95% CI = 1.02–1.96) and between yogurt intake and subarachnoid hemorrhage (RR = 1.83 for the highest vs. lowest quintile of intake; 95% CI = 1.20–2.80). Men in the highest quintile of cream intake had a moderate decreased risk of cerebral infarction (0.81; 0.72–0.92) and intracerebral hemorrhage (0.72; 0.52–1.00). There were no strong associations between intakes of total dairy, low-fat milk, sour milk, cheese, ice cream, or butter and risk of any stroke subtype.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that intake of certain dairy foods may be associated with risk of stroke.

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