Low intake of fruits, berries and vegetables is associated with excess mortality in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study

J Nutr. 2003 Jan;133(1):199-204. doi: 10.1093/jn/133.1.199.


Diets rich in fruits and vegetables have been of interest because of their potential health benefits against chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer. The aim of this work was to assess the association of the dietary intake of a food group that includes fruits, berries and vegetables with all-cause, CVD-related and non-CVD-related mortality. The subjects were Finnish men aged 42-60 y examined in 1984-1989 in the prospective Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study. Dietary intakes were assessed by 4-d food intake record during the baseline phase of the KIHD Study. The risk of all-cause and non-CVD-related deaths was studied in 2641 men and the risk of CVD-related death in 1950 men who had no history of CVD at baseline. During a mean follow-up time of 12.8 y, cardiovascular as well as noncardiovascular and all-cause mortality were lower among men with the highest consumption of fruits, berries and vegetables. After adjustment for the major CVD risk factors, the relative risk for men in the highest fifth of fruit, berry and vegetable intake for all-cause death, CVD-related and non-CVD-related death was 0.66 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.50-0.88], 0.59 (0.33-1.06), and 0.68 (0.46-1.00), respectively, compared with men in the lowest fifth. These data show that a high fruit, berry and vegetable intake is associated with reduced risk of mortality in middle-aged Finnish men. Consequently, the findings of this work indicate that diets that are rich in plant-derived foods can promote longevity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology
  • Coronary Disease / etiology
  • Coronary Disease / mortality*
  • Diet*
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables*