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      Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and CVD mortality: analysis of Health Survey for England data

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          Abstract

          Background

          Governments worldwide recommend daily consumption of fruit and vegetables. We examine whether this benefits health in the general population of England.

          Methods

          Cox regression was used to estimate HRs and 95% CI for an association between fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and cardiovascular mortality, adjusting for age, sex, social class, education, BMI, alcohol consumption and physical activity, in 65 226 participants aged 35+ years in the 2001–2008 Health Surveys for England, annual surveys of nationally representative random samples of the non-institutionalised population of England linked to mortality data (median follow-up: 7.7 years).

          Results

          Fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with decreased all-cause mortality (adjusted HR for 7+ portions 0.67 (95% CI 0.58 to 0.78), reference category <1 portion). This association was more pronounced when excluding deaths within a year of baseline (0.58 (0.46 to 0.71)). Fruit and vegetable consumption was associated with reduced cancer (0.75 (0.59–0.96)) and cardiovascular mortality (0.69 (0.53 to 0.88)). Vegetables may have a stronger association with mortality than fruit (HR for 2 to 3 portions 0.81 (0.73 to 0.89) and 0.90 (0.82 to 0.98), respectively). Consumption of vegetables (0.85 (0.81 to 0.89) per portion) or salad (0.87 (0.82 to 0.92) per portion) were most protective, while frozen/canned fruit consumption was apparently associated with increased mortality (1.17 (1.07 to 1.28) per portion).

          Conclusions

          A robust inverse association exists between fruit and vegetable consumption and mortality, with benefits seen in up to 7+ portions daily. Further investigations into the effects of different types of fruit and vegetables are warranted.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of cohort studies.

          The consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with a reduced rate of coronary heart disease (CHD) in observational cohorts. The purpose of this study was to assess the strength of this association in a meta-analysis. Cohort studies were selected if they reported relative risks (RRs) and 95% CI for coronary heart disease or mortality and if they presented a quantitative assessment of fruit and vegetable intake. The pooled RRs were calculated for each additional portion of fruit and/or vegetables consumed per day, and the linearity of the associations were examined. Nine studies were eligible for inclusion in the meta-analysis that consisted of 91,379 men, 129,701 women, and 5,007 CHD events. The risk of CHD was decreased by 4% [RR (95% CI): 0.96 (0.93-0.99), P = 0.0027] for each additional portion per day of fruit and vegetable intake and by 7% [0.93 (0.89-0.96), P < 0.0001] for fruit intake. The association between vegetable intake and CHD risk was heterogeneous (P = 0.0043), more marked for cardiovascular mortality [0.74 (0.75-0.84), P < 0.0001] than for fatal and nonfatal myocardial infarction [0.95 (0.92-0.99), P = 0.0058]. Visual inspection of the funnel plot suggested a publication bias, although not statistically significant. Therefore, the reported RRs are probably overestimated. This meta-analysis of cohort studies shows that fruit and vegetable consumption is inversely associated with the risk of CHD. The causal mechanism of this association, however, remains to be demonstrated.
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            The effect of fruit and vegetable intake on risk for coronary heart disease.

            Many constituents of fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk for coronary heart disease, but data on the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and risk for coronary heart disease are sparse. To evaluate the association of fruit and vegetable consumption with risk for coronary heart disease. Prospective cohort study. The Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals' Follow-Up Study. 84 251 women 34 to 59 years of age who were followed for 14 years and 42 148 men 40 to 75 years who were followed for 8 years. All were free of diagnosed cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes at baseline. The main outcome measure was incidence of nonfatal myocardial infarction or fatal coronary heart disease (1127 cases in women and 1063 cases in men). Diet was assessed by using food-frequency questionnaires. After adjustment for standard cardiovascular risk factors, persons in the highest quintile of fruit and vegetable intake had a relative risk for coronary heart disease of 0.80 (95% CI, 0.69 to 0.93) compared with those in the lowest quintile of intake. Each 1-serving/d increase in intake of fruits or vegetables was associated with a 4% lower risk for coronary heart disease (relative risk, 0.96 [CI, 0.94 to 0.99]; P = 0.01, test for trend). Green leafy vegetables (relative risk with 1-serving/d increase, 0.77 [CI, 0.64 to 0.93]), and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables (relative risk with 1-serving/d increase, 0.94 [CI, 0.88 to 0.99]) contributed most to the apparent protective effect of total fruit and vegetable intake. Consumption of fruits and vegetables, particularly green leafy vegetables and vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, appears to have a protective effect against coronary heart disease.
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              Fruit and vegetable consumption and stroke: meta-analysis of cohort studies.

              Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables has been shown to be associated with a reduced risk of stroke in most epidemiological studies, although the extent of the association is uncertain. We quantitatively assessed the relation between fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of stroke in a meta-analysis of cohort studies. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and bibliographies of retrieved articles. Studies were included if they reported relative risks and corresponding 95% CIs of stroke with respect to frequency of fruit and vegetable intake. Eight studies, consisting of nine independent cohorts, met the inclusion criteria. These groups included 257,551 individuals (4917 stroke events) with an average follow-up of 13 years. Compared with individuals who had less than three servings of fruit and vegetables per day, the pooled relative risk of stroke was 0.89 (95% CI 0.83-0.97) for those with three to five servings per day, and 0.74 (0.69-0.79) for those with more than five servings per day. Subgroup analyses showed that fruit and vegetables had a significant protective effect on both ischaemic and haemorrhagic stroke. Increased fruit and vegetable intake in the range commonly consumed is associated with a reduced risk of stroke. Our results provide strong support for the recommendations to consume more than five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, which is likely to cause a major reduction in strokes.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Epidemiol Community Health
                J Epidemiol Community Health
                jech
                jech
                Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                0143-005X
                1470-2738
                September 2014
                31 March 2014
                : 68
                : 9
                : 856-862
                Affiliations
                Health and Social Surveys Research Group, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, UCL (University College London) , London, UK
                Author notes
                [Correspondence to ] Dr Oyinlola Oyebode, Health and Social Surveys Research Group, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, UCL (University College London), 1-19 Torrington Place, London, WC1E 6BT, UK; o.oyebode@ 123456ucl.ac.uk
                Article
                jech-2013-203500
                10.1136/jech-2013-203500
                4145465
                24687909
                Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions

                This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

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                Public health

                nutrition, diet, mortality, cancer, cardiovascular disease

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