Association between legume consumption and risk of hyper-tension in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Norfolk cohort

Michael Hartley, Claire Fyfe, Nicolas J. Wareham, Kay-Tee Khaw, Alexandra Johnstone, Phyo Kyaw Myint* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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Hypertension is a significant and preventable cardiovascular disease risk factor. Growing evidence suggests legumes have blood-pressure (BP) lowering properties. However, there is little population-based research on legume intake and hypertension risk in Western populations. The objective was to investigate the relationship between legume intake and blood pressure by using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Norfolk cohort. Further, to identify any potential legume intake that confers benefits in relation to blood pressure. We included participants who completed both 7-day food diaries to assess legume intake and un-dertook a first (1993 - 1997) and second (1998 - 2000) health check from the EPIC-Norfolk prospective study. Legume consumption was categorized using percentile cut off values. We used multivariate logistic regression models to calculate the odds ratio of hypertension (defined as > 140 mmHg systolic and/or > 90 mmHg diastolic blood pressure) at the second health check, stratified by legume intake, adjusting for antihypertensive medication use and demographic, socioeconomic and life-style covariates. 7522 participants were included with mean age (± SD) of 58.0 ± 8.9 years. The follow-up time was 3.7 years (range: 2.1 - 6.6 years). Mean legume consumption was 17.3 ± 16.3 g/day. Participants in the 97th percentile of legume intake had the lowest odds of subsequent hypertension 32
(OR: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.52, 0.96). Legume consumption between 55 - 70 g/day was associated with reduced odds of hypertension (OR: 0.57; 95% CI: 0.37, 0.88); sex-specific values for men and women were 0.64 (0.38, 1.03) and 0.32 (0.12, 0.88), respectively. In this UK population, legume intake of 55 -70 g/day is associated with a lower subsequent risk of hypertension. Given the low legume intake in the UK and Western countries, dietary guidance to increase intake above 55 g/day may lower the burden of hypertension and associated diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3363
Number of pages14
Issue number16
Early online date16 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2022


  • legumes
  • hypertension
  • blood presure
  • plnat-based
  • protein
  • cardiovascular disease


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