Cardiovascular risk and lifestyle habits of consumers of a phytosterol-enriched yogurt in a real-life setting
Paillard et al., JHND Early View
Data on the characteristics of consumers of phytosterol-enriched products and modalities of consumption are rare. An observational study evaluating the lifestyle characteristics and cardiovascular risk (CVR) profile of phytosterol-enriched yogurt consumers was performed in France.
Subjects were recruited from general practitioners via electronic medical records. Data were obtained from 358 consumers and 422 nonconsumers with 519 subject questionnaires (243 consumers, 276 nonconsumers; 67% response).
Consumers had more cardiovascular risk factors than nonconsumers (2.0 ± 1.5 versus 1.6 ± 1.4; P < 0.001) and a higher 10-year SCORE cardiovascular risk (1.8 ± 2.0% versus 1.6 ± 2.2%; P = 0.008); they were older (P = 0.030) and had a higher incidence of hypercholesterolaemia (P < 0.001) and family or personal history of heart disease (P = 0.023/P = 0.026, respectively). Among consumers not on cholesterol-lowering medication, 99% were eligible for lifestyle interventions and 56% were eligible for lipid-lowering drug according to European guidelines. Consumers had a healthier lifestyle, with a higher (fruit/vegetable – saturated fatty acid) score than nonconsumers (P = 0.035), focused more on low-intensity leisure activity (P = 0.023), spent more time travelling by foot or bicycle (P = 0.012) and were more likely to act to reduce CVR. Phytosterol-enriched yogurt intake conformed to recommendations in two-thirds of consumers and was mainly consumed because of concerns over cholesterol levels and CVR.
The higher cardiovascular disease risk profile of phytosterol-enriched yogurt consumers corresponds to a population for whom European guidelines recommend lifestyle changes to manage cholesterol. The coherence of the data in terms of risk factors, adherence to lifestyle recommendations and the consumption of phytosterol-enriched yogurt conforming to recommendations reflects a health-conscious consumer population.