Total and specific fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of stroke: a prospective study

Atherosclerosis. 2013 Mar;227(1):147-52. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.12.022. Epub 2012 Dec 28.


Background: Fruit and vegetables is a heterogeneous food group with different content of dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and bioactive phytochemicals. Our objective was to examine the relation between specific consumption of fruit and vegetable subgroups and stroke risk in a cohort of Swedish women and men.

Methods and results: We prospectively followed 74,961 participants (34,670 women and 40,291 men) who had completed a food frequency questionnaire in the autumn of 1997 and were free from stroke, coronary heart disease, and cancer at baseline. Diagnoses of stroke in the cohort during follow-up were ascertained from the Swedish Hospital Discharge Registry. A total of 4089 stroke cases, including 3159 cerebral infarctions, 435 intracerebral hemorrhages, 148 subarachnoid hemorrhages, and 347 unspecified strokes, were ascertained during 10.2 years of follow-up. The multivariable relative risk (RR) of total stroke for the highest vs. lowest category of total fruit and vegetable consumption was 0.87 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.78-0.97; P for trend = 0.01). The association was confined to individuals without hypertension (corresponding RR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.71-0.93; P for trend = 0.01). Among individual fruits and vegetable subgroups, inverse associations with total stroke were observed for apples/pears (RR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.80-0.98; P for trend = 0.02) and green leafy vegetables (RR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.81-1.04; P for trend = 0.03).

Conclusion: This study shows an inverse association of fruit and vegetable consumption with stroke risk. Particularly consumption of apples and pears and green leafy vegetables was inversely associated with stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Cerebral Infarction / epidemiology
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Malus
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pyrus
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / epidemiology*
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Sweden / epidemiology
  • Vegetables*