Dietary fibre intake and mortality from cardiovascular disease and all cancers: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies

Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2016 Jan;109(1):39-54. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2015.09.005. Epub 2015 Dec 18.


Background: Accumulating evidence supports health benefits of dietary fibre, such as improving lipid profiles, lowering blood pressure and improving insulin sensitivity, but evidence from comprehensive investigation of dietary fibre intake and mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and all cancers is limited.

Aims: To quantitatively assess the association between dietary fibre intake and mortality from CVD and all cancers.

Methods: We performed a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Eligible studies were identified by searching PubMed and Embase databases for all articles published up to September 2014 and via hand searching. Study-specific estimates adjusting for potential confounders were combined to calculate pooled relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs), using a random-effects model.

Results: We found 15 studies that examined the association between dietary fibre and mortality from CVD, coronary heart disease (CHD) and all cancers. The pooled RRs of CVD, CHD and all-cancer mortality for the highest versus lowest category of dietary fibre were 0.77 (95% CI: 0.71-0.84), 0.76 (95% CI: 0.67-0.87) and 0.86 (95% CI: 0.79-0.93), respectively. In a dose-response meta-analysis, the pooled RRs for an increment of 10 g/day in dietary fibre intake were 0.91 (95% CI: 0.88-0.94) for CVD, 0.89 (95% CI: 0.85-0.93) for CHD and 0.94 (95% CI: 0.91-0.97) for all cancers.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that high dietary fibre intake is associated with a reduced risk of mortality from CVD and all cancers. These results support the current recommendation that high dietary fibre intake should be part of a healthy diet.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Fibre; Fibres; Maladies cardiovasculaires; Meta-analysis; Mortality; Mortalité; Méta-analyses; Prospective cohort studies; Étude de cohortes prospectives.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Time Factors