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Consumption of fruit and berries is inversely associated with carotid atherosclerosis in elderly men

  • I. Ellingsen (a1), E. M. Hjerkinn (a2), I. Seljeflot (a2), H. Arnesen (a3) and S. Tonstad (a1)...
Abstract

Epidemiological data suggest that fruit and vegetable consumption is associated with a lowered risk of CVD. We assessed the association between the intima-media thickness (IMT) of the carotid artery and dietary intake of vegetables, fruit and berries in elderly men with a high risk of CVD. Subjects (age 70 ±  5 years) were survivors from a cohort of 1232 men that participated in the Oslo Diet and Antismoking Study in 1972–3.Measurements of the carotid IMT by high resolution B-mode ultrasound, risk factor assessment and dietary data based on an FFQ were collected in 1997–9.Complete dietary and ultrasound data were available for 547 subjects. The carotid IMT in the highest quartile of dietary intake of fruit and berries was 0·89 (se 0·18) mm compared with 0·96 (se 0·25) mm in the lowest quartile, giving a mean difference of 0·075 (se 0·027) mm (P = 0·033). In multivariate regression analysis increased intake of fruit and berries remained inversely associated with IMT after adjustment for age, cigarette smoking, dietary cholesterol and saturated fat, consumption of milk, cream and ice cream and energy intake (multivariate regression coefficient 0·257; R2 0·066; se 0·209; P < 0·001). The difference of 348 g of fruit and berries per d between the lowest and highest quartile of intake was associated with a 5·5 % adjusted difference in mean IMT. These findings suggest that consumption of fruit and berries may be protective against carotid atherosclerosis in elderly men at high risk of CVD.

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Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Dr Ingrid Ellingsen, fax +47 22 11 99 75, email ingrid.ellingsen@uus.no
References
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British Journal of Nutrition
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