Stroke Risk Reduced by Increased Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

MedicalResearch Interview with:
Dr. Yan Qu
Qingdao Municipal hospital
Fruits and Vegetables Consumption and Risk of Stroke A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies

MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study?

Reply:
First, both fruits and vegetables were found inversely associated with risk of stroke, and the relationships might be linear.
Second, the inverse association of fruits and vegetables consumption with risk of stroke is consistent across subgroup analysis by outcome (stroke incidence and stroke mortality), location where the study was conducted (USA, Europe and Asia), sex (male and female), and stroke subtypes (ischemic and hemorrhagic).
Third, citrus fruits, leafy vegetables and apples/pears were found inversely associated with risk of stroke.
Fourth, very similar results were found in the subgroup analysis by status [yes: 0.78 (0.71-0.86) or no: 0.79 (0.74-0.85)] of adjusting for 6 or more of the 7 covariates (smoking, alcohol, blood pressure/hypertension, serum cholesterol, physical activity, body mass index, ≥3 dietary variables). These findings generally indicated that the association of fruits and vegetables consumption with the reduced risk of stroke may not be the result of confounding by the known factors.


Fifth, as shown in the discussion as well as the Supplementary table II and Supplementary table III, highest vs. lowest number of ideal cardiovascular health metrics (including physical activity, smoking, alcohol, diet, cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose and sleep duration) showed a greater reduced risk of stroke among both Asian [0.24 (0.11-0.54), 0.36 (0.22-0.58), 0.24 (0.16-0.36), 0.25 (0.14-0.46)], European [0.33 (0.14-0.46)], and American [0.34 (0.08-1.52), 0.43 (0.21-0.91), 0.31 (0.19-0.53), 0.21 (0.12-0.36)].

MedicalResearch: Were any of the findings unexpected?

Reply: The findings are consistent with the current knowledge that increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables should be encouraged to prevent stroke.

MedicalResearch: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Reply: The public should be encouraged to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to prevent stroke. The potential benefit of fruits and vegetables consumption regarding the secondary prevention of stroke deserves to be explored.

MedicalResearch: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Reply:

First, the effect of specific types of fruits and vegetables on risk of stroke in this study needs to be confirmed further, and future research should focus on more specific types of fruits and vegetables, instead of the total fruits and vegetables.

Second, whether the association of fruits consumption with risk of stroke differs by glycemic index or glycemic load values might be of interest to the public.

Third, the potential benefit of fruits and vegetables consumption regarding the secondary prevention of stroke deserves to be explored.

Citation:

Fruits and Vegetables Consumption and Risk of Stroke: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies

Dan Hu, Junqian Huang, Yuchun Wang, Dongfeng Zhang, and Yan Qu

Stroke. 2014; published online before print May 8 2014, doi:10.1161/STROKEAHA.114.004836

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