Background -- Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a primary premature killer of adults and risk of CVD has been linked to modifiable risk factors including dietary intake. Many diet assessment tools are costly, time consuming, and complicated. This study investigated the relationship between diet quality and cardiovascular disease risk as indicated by carotid intima-media thickness (cIMT) using a validated, simple, self-administered rapid food screener. Methods -- Participants were 51 male and 33 female older adults with an average age of 67 years. Carotid intima-media thickness was assessed using B-mode high resolution diagnostic ultrasound. Unhealthy and healthy diet intake was assessed using a validated 22-item rapid food screener. Data on other potentially confounding variables were also collected and included blood lipid profile, BMI, and resting blood pressure. Results -- Pearson correlation analysis showed a significant relationship for the unhealthy diet pattern and cIMT for both average and maximum region cIMT (r = 0.218, p = .023; r = 0.197, p = .037 respectively). There were no significant correlations related to the healthy diet pattern. ANOVA results did indicate significant differences in cIMT means (average cIMT and maximum region cIMT) when highest intakes of fruits and vegetables were compared with lowest intakes (average cIMT, (F (1,30) 4.54, p = .041; maximum region cIMT, (F (1,30) 5.41, p = .027). Average cIMT was 0.729mm vs 0.853mm respectively for highest vs lowest fruit and vegetable intake. Maximum region cIMT was 0.864mm vs 1.023mm when comparing highest vs lowest fruit and vegetable consumers. Conclusion -- Results of this study are similar to other studies that have indicated a relationship between diet and CVD/cIMT. Dietary intakes in the present study were assessed with an easy to use, self-administered rapid food screener. This is an important aspect of the study considering previous studies have used lengthier, complicated, time intensive tools. Because the rapid food screener can be self-administered and is inexpensive it may be used as an indicator of CVD /cIMT risk by health promotion professionals and even individuals themselves.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences



Date Submitted


Document Type





diet, intima-media thickness, CVD, older adults