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Prospective Analysis of Vegetable Amount and Variety on the Risk of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality among US Adults, 1999–2011

Zach Conrad, Jessica Thomson, Lisa Jahns
Nutrients 2018 v.10 no.10 pp. -
Dietary Guidelines, adults, coronary disease, death, diabetes, dietary exposure, longitudinal studies, mortality, multivariate analysis, nutrition risk assessment, risk reduction, stroke, surveys, vegetables, United States
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020 (DGA) provides recommendations for consuming a specific amount and variety of vegetables, but no studies have assessed the relationship between DGA-recommended vegetable variety and risk of mortality. We prospectively assessed the relationship between vegetable amount and variety and the risk of mortality using nationally-representative survey data (n = 29,133). Hazard ratios were estimated using survey-weighted, multivariate, Cox-proportional hazards models. Mean follow-up time was 6.5 years (12.8 years maximum). Total deaths from all causes were 2861, which included 829 deaths from cardiometabolic disease (556 coronary heart disease, 170 stroke, and 103 diabetes). Compared to individuals who reported consuming the greatest amount of vegetables daily, those with the least intake had a 78% greater risk of mortality from all causes (HR: 1.78, 95% CI: 1.29–2.47), a 68% greater risk of death from cardiovascular disease (1.68, 1.08–2.62), and an 80% greater risk of death from coronary heart disease (1.80, 1.09–2.08). No relationships were observed between vegetable variety and risk of all-cause or cause-specific mortality. Greater vegetable amount, but not variety, was associated with a reduced risk of mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and coronary heart disease. Additional large-scale longitudinal studies with repeated measures of dietary exposure are needed.