Dietary fibre and cardiovascular disease mortality in the UK Women's Cohort Study

Eur J Epidemiol. 2013 Apr;28(4):335-46. doi: 10.1007/s10654-013-9799-6. Epub 2013 Mar 30.


Dietary fibre has been associated with improvements in key risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Prior research has focussed more on CVD development in men and our aim was therefore to explore the association between dietary fibre intake and CVD mortality using data from the United Kingdom Women's Cohort Study (UKWCS). Dietary fibre intake from 31,036 women was calculated both as non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) and using the Association of Official Analytical Chemist (AOAC) method from food-frequency questionnaires. Participants were free from history of CVD at baseline and mean age at recruitment was 51.8 years (standard deviation 9.2). Mortality records for participants were linked from national registry data and 258 fatal CVD cases [130 stroke, 128 coronary heart disease (CHD)] were observed over an average follow-up period of 14.3 years. Total dietary fibre (NSP/AOAC) and fibre from different food sources were not associated with fatal CHD, stroke or CVD risk in the full sample. For every 6 g/day increase in NSP, the hazard ratio (HR) was 0.91 (95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.76-1.08) or for every 11 g/day increase in fibre assessed as AOAC, the HR was 0.92 (95 % CI 0.80-1.05). Sensitivity analyses suggest a possible protective association for cereal sources of fibre on fatal stroke risk in overweight women, HR 0.80 (95 % CI 0.65-0.93) p < 0.01. In the UKWCS, a sample of health-conscious women, greater dietary fibre intake may confer no additional cardiovascular benefit, in terms of mortality, but may contribute to lower fatal stroke risk in some subgroups such as overweight women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Dietary Fiber*
  • Edible Grain
  • Energy Intake
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology