Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk for developing coronary heart disease

Cent Eur J Public Health. 2008 Mar;16(1):17-20. doi: 10.21101/cejph.a3442.


The aim of the paper was to study the relationship between dietary intake of fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of coronary heart disease. We used data from a case-control study, conducted from 2001 to 2003, among 290 randomly selected cases (mean age 59.98 +/- 10.03 years) with first event of an acute coronary syndrome and 290 selected paired controls by sex, age and region (mean age 59.43 +/- 10.10 years), admitted to the same hospitals as cases without any suspicion of coronary disease. Using questionnaires, we assessed fruit and vegetable intake and estimated odds ratio of developing coronary heart disease by the intake. The benefit of fruit or vegetable consumption increased proportionally by the number of servings consumed (p for trend < 0.0001). Those in the upper tertile of fruit consumption (> 5 items/day) had 60% lower risk for coronary heart disease (odds ratio= 0.56, 95% CI = 0.35-0.89, p < 0.05), when compared to those in the lowest tertile (<1 item/day). Consumption of vegetable >3 items/day was associated with 70% lower risk of coronary heart disease (OR = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.09 - 0.66, p < 0.05), compared to subjects who did not consume vegetables. In agreement with previous studies, we found an inverse relation between vegetable and fruit intake and coronary heart risk. Consumption of fruits and vegetables seemed to provide significant protection against coronary heart disease.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Disease / prevention & control
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vegetables*
  • Yugoslavia / epidemiology