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Background: Arterial pulse pressure, the difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure, has been used as an indicator (surrogate measure) of arterial stiffness. High arterial pulse pressure (> 40) has been associated with increased cardiovascular disease and mortality. Several clinical trials have reported that the proportion of calories from carbohydrate has an effect on blood pressure. The primary objective of this study was to assess arterial pulse pressure and its association with carbohydrate quantity and quality (glycemic load) with diabetes status for a Cuban American population.

Methods: A single point analysis included 367 participants. There was complete data for 365 (190 with and 175 without type 2 diabetes). The study was conducted in the investigator’s laboratory located in Miami, Florida. Demographic, dietary, anthropometric and laboratory data were collected. Arterial pulse pressure was calculated by the formula systolic minus the diastolic blood pressure. Glycemic load, fructose, sucrose, percent of average daily calories from carbohydrate, fat and protein, grams of fiber and micronutrient intakes were calculated from a validated food frequency questionnaire.

Results: The mean arterial pulse pressure was significantly higher in participants with (52.9 ± 12.4) than without (48.6 ± 13.4) type 2 diabetes. The odds of persons with diabetes having high arterial pulse pressure (>40) was 1.85 (95% CI =1.09, 3.13); p=0.023. For persons with type 2 diabetes higher glycemic load was associated with lower arterial pulse pressure.

Conclusions: Arterial pulse pressure and diet are modifiable risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Arterial pulse pressure may be associated with carbohydrate intake differently considering diabetes status. Results may be due to individuals with diabetes following dietary recommendations. The findings of this study suggest clinicians take into consideration how medical condition, ethnicity and diet are associated with arterial pulse pressure before developing a medical nutrition therapy plan in collaboration with the client.

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Originally published in Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences.



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