Document Type: Original Article


Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, Neuroscience Institute, Tehran University of ‎Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran‎


Background: Studies have demonstrated the effect of different dietary fats on blood pressure (BP) in general population. However, these associations have not yet been described in people with spinal cord injury (SCI).Methods: Referred patients to Brain and SCI Research Center between 2011 and 2014 have been invited to participate. Only paraplegic individuals were recruited and patients with injury at cervical or higher thoracic sections were excluded to omit the bias effect of autonomic dysreflexia. Dietary intakes were assessed by recording consumed foods by 24-hour dietary recall interviews using Nutritionist IV 3.5.3 modified for Iranian foods. Systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) were measured 3 times and the mean values entered analysis.Results: Higher intakes of cholesterol were related to higher BP (P = 0.010 and 0.011 for SBP and DBP, respectively). Similarly, intake of saturated fat was positively correlated to both SBP (P = 0.016, r = 0.21) and DBP (P = 0.011, r = 0.22). The effect of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on BP was insignificant (P = 0.760 and 0.720 for SBP and DBP, respectively). However, intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was related to lower BP among people with SCI.Conclusion: This study has demonstrated that higher intakes of cholesterol and saturated fat are associated with increased BP, whereas DHA is an antihypertensive agent. Dietary modifications with reduction of cholesterol and saturated fat along with intake of additional DHA supplements may help to reduce BP in spinal cord injured-individuals with hypertension.