Study Finds Eating Fruits and Vegetables Lowers Risks of Heart Disease

November 25, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- A new study of adults aged 70 or older found that increased servings of fruits and vegetables were significantly associated with a decrease of cognitive impairment, and that those eating three or more servings of vegetables per day had a 30 percent lower risk of death from heart disease.

The study was led by Dr. Longjian Liu, MD, PhD, a professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health. The results of the study were first reported in the November 3, 2009 edition of Circulation, an American Heart Association journal. Dr. Xiaoyan Yin at the University of Pennsylvania was the coauthor for the report.

“The study highlights that an increase in and better cognitive function has significant effects on the reduction of death from , as well as death from all causes in older adults,” said Liu. “Basically, this shows that even as an older adult, you should still eat your vegetables.”

The study assessed data from the second national Longitudinal Study of Aging, which was the largest national study of community-dwelling adults aged 70 years or older at that time of participation in 1994 and 1996. The study examined participants’ diet behaviors and cognitive function (assessed using global cognitive function score) in relation to the risk of mortality at the end of the follow-up in December 2002.

Of the 9,447 total participants, 4,879 participants—1,778 males and 3,101 females—completed the cognitive function measure. Within an average seven-year follow-up, 1,286 participants died. Males had a 30 percent mortality rate, which was significantly higher than the 24 percent mortality rate for females.

The study found that increased servings of fruits and vegetables were significantly associated with decreased prevalence rates of . In addition, the study indicated that participants who ate three or more servings of vegetables each day had a 30 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, and a 15 percent lower risk of death from all causes, than those who had less than three servings of per day.

The researchers also found that those with a global cognitive function score of less than 12 (defined as cognitive impairment, of those who were in the first quartile of scores), had a 55 percent higher risk of death from heart disease, and a 51 percent higher all-cause mortality rate than those with a global cognitive function score higher than 12.

Dr. Liu is an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the Drexel University School of Public Health. He has extensive research experience in the United States, China, Japan and the United Kingdom in the fields of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer in relation to nutrition, aging, environment and health disparities. Dr. Liu is a member of several scientific and professional societies, and fellow of American Heart Association.

Provided by Drexel University

Related Stories

Recommended for you

For heavy lifting, use exoskeletons with caution

April 20, 2018
You can wear an exoskeleton, but it won't turn you into a superhero.

New research suggests possible link between sudden infant death syndrome and air pollution

April 20, 2018
A study led by the University of Birmingham suggests a possible association between exposure to certain pollutants and an increased risk of so-called 'cot death'.

Male contraceptive compound stops sperm without affecting hormones

April 20, 2018
A new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE details how a compound called EP055 binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones, making EP055 a potential ...

A dose of empathy may support patients in pain

April 20, 2018
Research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine suggests that empathic, positive messages from doctors may be of small benefit to patients suffering from pain, and improve their satisfaction about the care ...

New device to help patients with rare disease access life-saving treatment

April 19, 2018
Patients with a rare medical condition can receive life-saving treatment at the touch of a button thanks to a new device developed by scientists.

Age affects how we predict and respond to stress at home

April 19, 2018
A recent study finds that older adults are better than younger adults at anticipating stressful events at home - but older adults are not as good at using those predictions to reduce the adverse impacts of the stress.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Bob_B
not rated yet Nov 25, 2009
Eating lowers disease.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.