Eating Fruit and Vegetables Substantially Reduces Stroke Risk

This article, published online in advance in Stroke, shows that eating 2 servings a day of fruits such as citrus or salad vegetables, as well as other fruits and vegetables, can reduce risk of stroke by as much as one third. As a comparison, aspirin in a typical high risk group reduces stroke risk by 30 to 40 percent and in lesser risk groups by about 15 percent, a similar effect to this one of 2 servings a day of citrus fruit.


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ABSTRACT

 2014 May 8. [Epub ahead of print]

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


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

Fruits and vegetables consumption are inversely associated with the risk of stroke.

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