Chilli intake is inversely associated with hypertension among adults

Zumin Shi*, Malcolm Riley, Alex Brown, Amanda Page

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background & aims: This study aimed to examine the association between chilli intake and the incidence of hypertension in a Chinese adult population. Methods: Adults aged 20–75 years in the China Health and Nutrition Survey were followed from 1991 to 2011. Dietary data were collected during home visits using a 3-day food record in 1991, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011. Cox regression was used in the analysis. Blood pressure was measured at each data collection point. Results: 13,670 adults were followed for a median of 9.0 years. During 132,089 person years of follow-up 4040 subjects developed hypertension. Chilli consumption was inversely associated with the incidence of hypertension. The incidence rate of hypertension was 30.5, 33.4, 31.9, and 24.0 per 1000 person years among those who consumed no chilli or 1–20, 20.1–50, ≥50.1 g/day respectively. Adjusting for age, gender, energy intake, sodium and fat intake, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity, those with increasing cumulative average chilli intake were less likely to develop hypertension: 0, 1–20, 20.1–50 and ≥50.1 g/day had a hazard ratio (HR) for hypertension of 1.00, 0.80 (95%CI 0.73–0.88), 0.81 (0.73–0.89) and 0.65 (0.57–0.75) (p for trend <0.001) respectively. The association was independent of overall dietary patterns and BMI. There was no significant interaction between chilli intake and gender, income, education and residence (urban/rural) in relation to the risk of hypertension. Conclusions: Chilli intake is inversely associated with the risk of developing hypertension in Chinese adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Nutrition ESPEN
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
Externally publishedYes


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