Background: Chronic hypertension leads to cardiac hypertrophy, heart failure, and premature death. Little is known about the impact of dietary macronutrient composition on hypertension-induced cardiac hypertrophy and mortality. We investigated the effects of consuming either a high complex carbohydrate diet, a high simple sugar diet, or a high fat diet on cardiac hypertrophy and mortality in hypertensive Dahl salt-sensitive (DSS) rats. Methods: Rats were assigned to four diets: complex carbohydrate (CC; 70% starch, 10% fat, 20% protein by energy), high fat (FAT; 20% carbohydrates, 60% fat, 20% protein), high fructose (FRU; 70% fructose, 10% fat, 20% protein), and "western" (WES; 35% fructose, 45% fat, 20% protein). Hypertension was initiated by adding 6% NaCl (+S) to the chow of half the animals within each diet (n = 10 to 13/group). Tail cuff blood pressure measurements were assessed after 5 and 11 weeks of treatment, and echocardiography were assessed after 12 weeks of treatment. Results: All rats fed a high salt diet had similar levels of hypertension (CC+S 220 ±2 mm Hg, FAT+S 221 ± 3 mm Hg, FRU+S 221 ± 1 mm Hg, WES+S 226 ± 3 mm Hg). Echocardiography results show that the addition of salt to FRU resulted in increased regional wall thickness that was not observed in other dietary groups. All rats fed a low salt diet (CC, FAT, FRU, WES) and the FAT+S group survived 90 days. On the other hand, there was 90-day mortality in the WES+S group (18% mortality) and the CC+S group (30% mortality). In addition, FRU+S rats started dying after 45 days of salt feeding, and only 15% survived the full 90 days. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that a high fructose diet consumed during hypertension increases mortality and left ventricular (LV) wall thickness compared to either a high fat, high starch, or a "western" diet.
- heart failure