The association between fruit and vegetable consumption and peripheral arterial disease

Epidemiology. 2003 Nov;14(6):659-65. doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000086882.59112.9d.


Background: High fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, but few studies have focused on peripheral arterial disease. In this study, we evaluated the association of consumption of fruits and vegetables with peripheral arterial disease.

Methods: In a cohort of 44,059 men initially free of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, we documented 295 cases of peripheral arterial disease during a 12-year follow-up. Fruit and vegetable consumption was assessed by food frequency questionnaire.

Results: In the age-adjusted model, men in the highest quintile had a relative risk of 0.55 (95% confidence interval = 0.38-0.80) for overall fruit and vegetable intake, 0.52 (0.36-0.77) for fruit intake, and 0.54 (0.36-0.81) for vegetable intake, compared with those in the lowest quintile of intake. However, the associations were greatly weakened after adjustment for smoking and other traditional cardiovascular disease risk factors. Comparing men in the highest quintile versus the lowest quintile, relative risks and 95% confidence intervals were 0.95 (0.62-1.44) for overall fruit and vegetable intake, 0.97 (0.64-1.48) for fruit intake, and 0.76 (0.50-1.17) for vegetable intake.

Conclusions: We did not find evidence that fruit and vegetable consumption protects against peripheral arterial disease, although a modest benefit cannot be excluded.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arteriosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Peripheral Vascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables*