Is There an Association Between Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and PAD?

A greater intake of fruit and vegetables may be linked to a lower prevalence of peripheral artery disease (PAD), especially among current or former tobacco smokers, according to a study published May 18 in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

Sean P. Heffron, MD, et al., investigated the association between fruit and vegetable consumption and prevalent PAD by evaluating nearly 3.7 million American adults. Results showed individuals who reported a daily intake of three or more servings of fruit and vegetables had 18 percent lower odds of PAD than those who reported less than once a month consumption. However, the association between fruit and vegetable consumption and prevalent PAD was stronger with more abnormal ankle brachial index, such as individuals with increasing severity of PAD and current or former smokers.

The study also showed that 29.2 percent of American adults reported daily intake of at least three servings of fruit and vegetables daily, which confirms an overall low universal consumption. There was also a notable variation in fruit and vegetables frequency by region, sex and race. In particular, there was a lower consumption of fruit and vegetables in groups such as non-whites, men, those living in Southern states and those with low income.

The authors conclude that there is a clear inverse association of prevalent PAD with fruit and vegetable intake. They add that moving forward, more research is needed to evaluate the exact role of fruit and vegetables in PAD prevention. They also support the need to improve dietary patterns for American adults and increase fruit and vegetable consumption. 

Keywords: Ankle Brachial Index, Biology, Fruit, Peripheral Arterial Disease, Poverty, Prevalence, Thrombosis, Tobacco, Vegetables

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