Background: Asian populations habitually consume a large amount of cruciferous vegetables and other plant-based foods. Few epidemiologic investigations have evaluated the potential health effects of these foods in Asian populations.
Objective: We aimed to examine the associations of cruciferous vegetables, noncruciferous vegetables, total vegetables, and total fruit intake with risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality.
Design: The analysis included 134,796 Chinese adults who participated in 2 population-based, prospective cohort studies: the Shanghai Women's Health Study and the Shanghai Men's Health Study. Dietary intakes were assessed at baseline through in-person interviews by using validated food-frequency questionnaires. Deaths were ascertained by biennial home visits and linkage with vital statistics registries.
Results: We identified 3442 deaths among women during a mean follow-up of 10.2 y and 1951 deaths among men during a mean follow-up of 4.6 y. Overall, fruit and vegetable intake was inversely associated with risk of total mortality in both women and men, and a dose-response pattern was particularly evident for cruciferous vegetable intake. The pooled multivariate hazard ratios (95% CIs) for total mortality across increasing quintiles of intake were 1 (reference), 0.91 (0.84, 0.98), 0.88 (0.77, 1.00), 0.85 (0.76, 0.96), and 0.78 (0.71, 0.85) for cruciferous vegetables (P < 0.0001 for trend) and 0.88 (0.79, 0.97), 0.88 (0.79, 0.98), 0.76 (0.62, 0.92), and 0.84 (0.69, 1.00) for total vegetables (P = 0.03 for trend). The inverse associations were primarily related to cardiovascular disease mortality but not to cancer mortality.
Conclusion: Our findings support recommendations to increase consumption of vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables, and fruit to promote cardiovascular health and overall longevity.