There has been no study with regard to the association between dietary fibers and the incidence of stroke and coronary heart disease (CHD) in Asia. We investigated the association between dietary fiber and the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), which we defined as stroke or CHD, in a Japanese population.
We studied 86 387 Japanese subjects (age 45-65 years, without CVD or cancer in 1995 as Cohort I and in 1998 as Cohort II) and used a self-administered questionnaire to follow-up the participants until the end of 2004. Dietary fiber intake was estimated from food-frequency questionnaires comprising 138 food items.
After 899 141 person-years of follow-up, we documented the incidence of 2553 strokes and 684 cases of CHD. Multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals (CIs)) of CVD for the third to fifth quintiles of total fiber were 0.79 (0.63-0.99), 0.70 (0.54-0.89) and 0.65 (0.48-0.87) in women, respectively, compared with the lowest quintile. Total fiber intake was inversely associated with the incidence of stroke, either cerebral infarction or intracerebral hemorrhage in women. The results for insoluble fiber in women were similar to those for total fiber, whereas those for soluble fiber were weak. An inverse association of total fiber with CVD was observed primarily in non-smokers (P for trend=0.045 and 0.001) and not in smokers (probability values for interaction between total fiber and smoking were 0.06 and 0.01 in men and women, respectively).
Higher total dietary fiber was associated with reduced risk of CVD in Japanese non-smokers.