The Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet may have beneficial health effects for adolescent patients with hemophilia, according to a new article published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

The study results showed that patients with hemophilia adhering to the DASH diet had better body composition, complete blood count, inflammation, and liver function.

The patients also had significant decreases in waist circumference (P =.005), hepatic fibrosis (P =.02), fat mass (P =.006), and partial thromboplastin time (P =.008) compared to patients in the control group.

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“Our findings showed that the DASH diet, which was primarily designed to control cardiovascular risk factors in healthy or unhealthy adults, has several beneficial effects on various health aspects of adolescents with hemophilia,” the authors said.

Patients following the DASH diet also had significant increases in red blood cells (P =.02), hemoglobin (P =.005), and hematocrit (P =.006) levels compared to the control group. Steatosis and C-reactive protein levels showed a trend toward reduction but were not significant (P =.06 and P =.08, respectively).

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No significant differences between groups were observed in other selected measures including weight, body mass index, fat-free mass, interleukin-6, serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase, and serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase.

During the study, 40 adolescent patients with hemophilia were recruited and divided equally to the DASH diet and control groups. Patients followed their dietary groups for 10 weeks.

Patients in the DASH diet group were instructed to include high amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products while limiting the intake of refined grains, sweets, saturated fats, cholesterol, and red meat. The breakdown of macronutrient composition on the diet by energy composition was 50%-55% carbohydrates, 16%-18% protein, and 27%-30% fat.

Adherence to the DASH diet was assessed by comparing serum vitamin C levels at baseline to those at week 10. All patients also completed 3 food journals for 3 different days.

“However, more, well-designed and well-conducted, studies are needed to confirm the results of the present study,” the authors concluded.


Mahdavi A, Mohammadi H, Bagherniya M, et al. The effect of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet on body composition, complete blood count, prothrombin time, inflammation, and liver function in hemophilic adolescents. Br J Nutr. Published online December 6, 2021:1-25. doi:10.1017/S0007114521004839