We conducted a meta-analysis to summarize evidence from prospective cohort studies about the association of fruits and vegetables consumption with the risk of stroke.
Pertinent studies were identified by a search of Embase and PubMed databases to January 2014. Study-specific relative risks with 95% confidence intervals were pooled using a random-effects model. Dose-response relationship was assessed by restricted cubic spline.
Twenty prospective cohort studies were included, involving 16 981 stroke events among 760 629 participants. The multivariable relative risk (95% confidence intervals) of stroke for the highest versus lowest category of total fruits and vegetables consumption was 0.79 (0.75-0.84), and the effect was 0.77 (0.71-0.84) for fruits consumption and 0.86 (0.79-0.93) for vegetables consumption. Subgroup and meta-regression showed that the inverse association of total fruits and vegetables consumption with the risk of stroke was consistent in subgroup analysis. Citrus fruits, apples/pears, and leafy vegetables might contribute to the protection. The linear dose-response relationship showed that the risk of stroke decreased by 32% (0.68 [0.56-0.82]) and 11% (0.89 [0.81-0.98]) for every 200 g per day increment in fruits consumption (P for nonlinearity=0.77) and vegetables consumption (P for nonlinearity=0.62), respectively.
Fruits and vegetables consumption are inversely associated with the risk of stroke.