Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Mortality From All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer: Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies

BMJ. 2014 Jul 29;349:g4490. doi: 10.1136/bmj.g4490.

Abstract

Objective: To examine and quantify the potential dose-response relation between fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality.

Data sources: Medline, Embase, and the Cochrane library searched up to 30 August 2013 without language restrictions. Reference lists of retrieved articles.

Study selection: Prospective cohort studies that reported risk estimates for all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality by levels of fruit and vegetable consumption.

Data synthesis: Random effects models were used to calculate pooled hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals and to incorporate variation between studies. The linear and non-linear dose-response relations were evaluated with data from categories of fruit and vegetable consumption in each study.

Results: Sixteen prospective cohort studies were eligible in this meta-analysis. During follow-up periods ranging from 4.6 to 26 years there were 56,423 deaths (11,512 from cardiovascular disease and 16,817 from cancer) among 833,234 participants. Higher consumption of fruit and vegetables was significantly associated with a lower risk of all cause mortality. Pooled hazard ratios of all cause mortality were 0.95 (95% confidence interval 0.92 to 0.98) for an increment of one serving a day of fruit and vegetables (P=0.001), 0.94 (0.90 to 0.98) for fruit (P=0.002), and 0.95 (0.92 to 0.99) for vegetables (P=0.006). There was a threshold around five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, after which the risk of all cause mortality did not reduce further. A significant inverse association was observed for cardiovascular mortality (hazard ratio for each additional serving a day of fruit and vegetables 0.96, 95% confidence interval 0.92 to 0.99), while higher consumption of fruit and vegetables was not appreciably associated with risk of cancer mortality.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis provides further evidence that a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of all cause mortality, particularly cardiovascular mortality.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cause of Death
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Vegetables*