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International Journal of Hypertension
Volume 2013, Article ID 985087, 6 pages
Clinical Study

Characterisation of Hypertensive Patients with Improved Endothelial Function after Dark Chocolate Consumption

1Faculty of Nutrition, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Rua Mariz e Barros 775, 20270-004 Rio de Janeiro, Rj, Brazil
2Department of Clinical Medicine, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Avenida Vinte e Oito de Setembro, 77, Sala 329, 20551-030 Rio de Janeiro, Rj, Brazil
3Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, via Roma 67, 56126 Pisa, Italy

Received 27 November 2012; Revised 1 February 2013; Accepted 6 February 2013

Academic Editor: Antonio Felipe Sanjuliani

Copyright © 2013 Jenifer d'El-Rei et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Recent findings indicate an inverse relationship between cardiovascular disease and consumption of flavonoids. We aimed to identify clinical and vascular parameters of treated hypertensive who present beneficial effects of dark chocolate for one-week period on vascular function. Twenty-one hypertensive subjects, aged 40–65 years, were included in a prospective study with measurement of blood pressure (BP), brachial flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), peripheral arterial tonometry, and central hemodynamic parameters. These tests were repeated after seven days of eating dark chocolate 75 g/day. Patients were divided according to the response in FMD: responders ( ) and nonresponders ( ). The responder group presented lower age (54 ± 7 versus 61 ± 6 years, ), Framingham risk score (FRS) (2.5 ± 1.8 versus 8.1 ± 5.1%, ), values of peripheral (55 ± 9 versus 63 ± 5 mmHg, ), and central pulse pressure (PP) (44 ± 10 versus 54 ± 6 mmHg, ). FMD response showed negative correlation with FRS ( , ), baseline FMD ( , ), baseline reactive hyperemia index (RHI; , ), and central PP ( , ). However, after linear regression analysis, only FRS and baseline RHI were associated with FMD response. In conclusion, one-week dark chocolate intake significantly improved endothelial function and reduced BP in younger hypertensive with impaired endothelial function in spite of lower cardiovascular risk.