Higher usual dietary intake of phytoestrogens is associated with lower aortic stiffness in postmenopausal women

Y.T. van der Schouw, A. Pijpe, C.E.I. Lebrun, M.L. Bots, P.H.M. Peeters, W.A. van Staveren, S.W.J. Lamberts, D.E. Grobbee

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Objective¿ Phytoestrogens have been postulated to protect against cardiovascular diseases, but few studies have focused on the effect of Western dietary phytoestrogen intake. Methods and Results¿ Four hundred three women with natural menopause either between 1987 and 1989 or between 1969 and 1979 were selected from the baseline data of the PROSPECT study (n=17 395). Isoflavone and lignan intake was calculated from a food-frequency questionnaire. Aortic stiffness was noninvasively assessed by pulse-wave velocity measurement of the aorta. Linear regression analysis was used. After adjustment for age, body mass index, smoking, physical activity, mean arterial pressure, follow-up time, energy intake, dietary fiber intake, glucose, and high density lipoprotein cholesterol, increasing dietary isoflavone intake was associated with decreased aortic stiffness: -0.51 m/s (95% CI -1.00 to -0.03, fourth versus first quartile, P for trend=0.07). Increasing dietary intake of lignans was also associated with decreased aortic pulse-wave velocity: -0.42 m/s (95% CI -0.93 to 0.11, fourth versus first quartile, P for trend=0.06). Results were most pronounced in older women: for isoflavones, -0.94 m/s (95% CI -1.65 to -0.22, P for trend=0.02), and for lignans, -0.80 m/s (95% CI -1.85 to -0.05), fourth versus first quartile. Conclusions¿ The results of our study support the view that phytoestrogens have a protective effect on the risk of atherosclerosis and arterial degeneration through an effect on arterial walls, especially among older women
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316-1322
JournalArteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • cardiovascular risk-factors
  • systemic arterial compliance
  • low-density-lipoprotein
  • stage renal-disease
  • pulse-wave velocity
  • cynomolgus monkeys
  • soy protein
  • atherosclerosis progression
  • plasma-lipids
  • all-cause

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