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Higher intakes of fiber, total vegetables, and fruits may attenuate the risk of all-cause and cause-specific mortality: findings from a large prospective cohort study.

Nutrition Journal 2023 November 18
BACKGROUND: Although studies have reported an inverse association between fruits, vegetables, and fiber consumption and all-cause and cause-specific mortality, the issue remains incompletely defined in the Middle Eastern population.

AIMS: The current study aimed to investigate the association between dietary fiber, fruit, and vegetable intake and all-cause and cause-specific mortality.

METHODS: A total of 48632 participants (mean age = 52years), 57.5% (n = 27974) women and 42.5% (n = 20658) men, were recruited from an ongoing large-scale prospective cohort study (the Golestan Cohort Study (GCS)), in the north of Iran. Using a validated semi-quantitative 116-item food questionnaire, dietary intakes were collected. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) of all-cause and cause-specific mortality were reported.

RESULTS: After approximately 14 years of follow-up, 10,774 deaths were recorded. In the fully adjusted model, compared to those in the lowest quintile of intake, those in the second and third quintiles of dietary fiber intake had a 7%-10% reduction in risk of all-cause mortality, and a 15%-17% reduction in the risk of mortality from other causes. Increasing consumption of fruits was also associated with a decreased risk of mortality for all-cause mortality by 9%-11%, and all cancer by 15-20%. Further, those in the third and fourth quintiles of vegetables intake had 11%-12% lower risk for CVD mortality.

DISCUSSION: The results from the GCS further support the current recommendations on following a healthy diet containing proper amounts of fiber, vegetables, and fruits, as health-protective dietary items.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher intake of dietary fiber, fruits, and vegetables has the potential to reduce both overall and cause-specific mortality rates. However, additional cohort studies with larger sample size and long-term follow-up durations are required to establish these findings.

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