Pulse wave velocity and the carotid intima-media thickness showed a positive association with the intake of whole-fat dairy and inversely with consumption of low-fat dairy. This finding provides new evidence of a possible association between the fat component of dairy products and values of IMT and PWV.
Crichton et al.  found lower values of PWV in subjects whose consumption of dairy products was greater than 5–6 times per week (mean value: 9.9 m/sec) with respect to those with a regular intake of 2–4 times per week. However, in our study we have analyzed the consumption of whole-fat and low-fat dairy separately. We found that a consumption higher than 125 g/day respect of a non-regularly consume low-fat dairy is significantly associated with lower PWV values. The relationship between PWV and consumption of whole-fat dairy shows a completely opposite trend, with higher values of PWV in subjects with an intake of whole-fat dairy greater than 125 g/day. The only nutritional difference between whole dairy and low-fat dairy products is exclusively based on its fat content, and consequently, its caloric value. The fat content of dairy products may affect the blood lipid profile and promote atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
Ivey et al.  found that the consumption of >100 g yogurt/d, but not milk or cheese was associated with a significantly lower IMT in a risk-factor adjusted model included age, BMI, energy intake, physical activity, use of vascular medication, diabetes and smoking. In our work, there is a tendency to lower values of IMT in consumers of >125 g/day of low-fat dairy and in subjects who do not usually consume whole-fat dairy, showing in a risk-adjusted factor model, an inverse association between the consumption of low-fat and lower IMT values. Possible relative benefits of consuming low-fat dairy versus whole-fat dairy involve decreased saturated fatty acids in the dairy products. Saturated fat intake may influence in the development of atherosclerosis and in the incidence of cardiovascular disease.
Finally, our results support the findings of Warensjö et al. . This study reports a higher proportion of the milk fat biomarker 17:0 in the phospholipid fraction in plasma to be inversely related to the risk of a first event of stroke. The authors hypothesize that estimated milk fat intake is associated with a lower risk of first event stroke.
The main limitation of this study is the cross-sectional design that prevents from establishing causal relationships between IMT, PWV and consumption of dairy products. Second, the assessment of dairy products were based mainly on food frequency questionnaires which were designed to assess habitual diet by asking about the frequency with limited food items, but not specifically developed to assess the dairy intake.