, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 281-291,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Major dietary patterns and cardiovascular risk factors among young Brazilian adults



Diet is one of the most important modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. The scientific literature has consistently shown the effects of certain diets on health; however, given the variety of cultures and dietary habits across the world, it is likely that much remains to be learned about dietary patterns and health outcomes. We assessed the associations between main dietary patterns and cardiovascular risk factors among 4,202 young Brazilian adults in a cross-sectional analysis.


In a principle components analysis, two main dietary patterns were identified: common Brazilian and processed food. As outcomes, we examined body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP), total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol (HDL-c), and LDL cholesterol (LDL-c). Means, crude, and adjusted β coefficients and 95% CIs were estimated according to quintiles of dietary patterns.


Common Brazilian scores were inversely associated with BMI, WC, LDL-c, HDL-c, and total cholesterol values among men. Among women, inverse association trends were observed with SBP, DBP, LDL-c, HDL-c, and total cholesterol. The processed food pattern was positively associated with LDL-c, HDL-c, total cholesterol, BMI, and WC values among the men. Among the women, the processed food pattern was not significantly associated with cardiovascular risk factors.


In conclusion, our findings confirm that diet has an important role on health during early adulthood. The common Brazilian pattern showed generally healthier trends regarding CVD risk factors, but the ultimate effects on risk of risk of disease are unclear because of the inverse relation with HDL-c levels.