Purpose: Many constituents of fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk for gallstones, but prospective data relating fruit and vegetable intake to gallstone disease are sparse.
Methods: We prospectively studied fruit and vegetable consumption in relation to the risk of cholecystectomy in a cohort of 77,090 women in the Nurses' Health Study, 37 to 64 years of age, who had no history of gallstone disease. Women reported on follow-up questionnaires both their consumption of fruits and vegetables and whether they had undergone cholecystectomy.
Results: During 1,060,033 person-years of follow-up from 1984 to 2000, participants reported 6608 cases of cholecystectomy. After adjusting for established or suspected risk factors, the relative risk for women in the highest quintile of overall consumption of fruits and vegetables was 0.79 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.73-0.87, P for trend<.0001) compared with those in the lowest quintile. Similar results were seen for both total fruits and total vegetables separately. The composite items of fruits and vegetables including green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, and cruciferous vegetables also were each inversely associated with the risk.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest a protective role of greater fruit and vegetable consumption against risk of cholecystectomy in women.