Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Nitric oxide is a major signaling molecule in the circulatory system, and is a key blood vessel dilator. Reduced nitric oxide (NO) availability in the circulatory system is thought to have a major role in cardiovascular disease development.

While NO can be made in the body, NO deficiency is a common side effect of aging, diabetes and smoking which is often thought to lead to the development of high blood pressure, build-up of fatty plaque in the arteries and cardiovascular disease. Dietary nitrate commonly consumed from vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables and beetroot can improve the amount of NO in the body and could protect against cardiovascular disease. This project seeks make use of existing data from one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive longitudinal studies, the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), to examine the association between dietary nitrate and cardiovascular disease outcomes in a large population based cohort. The findings of this study will be useful in formulating more targeted dietary interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment in our community.


A/Prof Mark McEvoy

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