Raw and processed fruit and vegetable consumption and 10-year coronary heart disease incidence in a population-based cohort study in the Netherlands

PLoS One. 2010 Oct 25;5(10):e13609. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0013609.


Background: Prospective cohort studies have shown that high fruit and vegetable consumption is inversely associated with coronary heart disease (CHD). Whether food processing affects this association is unknown. Therefore, we quantified the association of fruit and vegetable consumption with 10-year CHD incidence in a population-based study in the Netherlands and the effect of processing on these associations.

Methods: Prospective population-based cohort study, including 20,069 men and women aged 20 to 65 years, enrolled between 1993 and 1997 and free of cardiovascular disease at baseline. Diet was assessed using a validated 178-item food frequency questionnaire. Hazard ratios (HR) were calculated for CHD incidence using multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: During a mean follow-up time of 10.5y, 245 incident cases of CHD were documented, which comprised 211 non-fatal acute myocardial infarctions and 34 fatal CHD events. The risk of CHD incidence was 34% lower for participants with a high intake of total fruit and vegetables (>475 g/d; HR: 0.66; 95% CI: 0.45-0.99) compared to participants with a low total fruit and vegetable consumption (≤241 g/d). Intake of raw fruit and vegetables (>262 g/d vs ≤92 g/d; HR: 0.70; 95% CI: 0.47-1.04) as well as processed fruit and vegetables (>234 g/d vs ≤113 g/d; HR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.54-1.16) were inversely related with CHD incidence.

Conclusion: Higher consumption of fruit and vegetables, whether consumed raw or processed, may protect against CHD incidence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables*