Intake of fruit and vegetables and the risk of ischemic stroke in a cohort of Danish men and women.Am J Clin Nutr 2003; 78(1):57-64AJ
Previous studies have suggested that a high dietary intake of fruit and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of ischemic stroke. The magnitude of the effect is uncertain, and only one study reported data on the intake of specific fruit and vegetables and the risk of stroke.
We examined whether the intake of fruit and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of ischemic stroke, with particular attention paid to specific fruit and vegetables and subtypes of ischemic stroke.
In a prospective cohort study of 54,506 men and women who were included in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health study from 1993 to 1997, estimated total intakes of fruit and vegetables (in g/d) were extracted from a semiquantitative food-frequency questionnaire completed at baseline. Data about subjects hospitalized with ischemic stroke were obtained from the Danish National Registry of Patients and were verified later by record reviews. The follow-up for ischemic stroke ended on the date of a first hospital admission for stroke or transient ischemic attack, the date of death or emigration, or the end of the study, whichever came first.
We identified 266 cases of ischemic stroke involving hospitalization during 168,388 person-years of follow-up (median follow-up: 3.09 y; range: 0.02-5.10 y). After adjustment for potential confounders, persons in the top quintile of fruit and vegetable intake (median: 673 g/d) had a risk ratio of ischemic stroke of 0.72 (95% CI: 0.47, 1.12) relative to persons in the bottom quintile of intake (median: 147 g/d) (P for trend = 0.04). When comparing the top quintile with the bottom quintile, an inverse association was most evident for fruit intake (risk ratio: 0.60; 95% CI: 0.38, 0.95; P for trend = 0.02). Similar risk estimates were seen for most types of fruit and vegetables, although the risks were significant only for citrus fruit.
An increased intake of fruit may reduce the risk of ischemic stroke.