(HealthDay News) — Eating fresh fruit regularly may help prevent heart attacks and strokes, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Liming Li, MD, MPH, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing, and colleagues collected data on 512 891 adults, ages 30 to 79, between 2004 and 2009. None had a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Fewer than 1 in 5 participants ate fruit on a daily basis. Over 7 years, those who ate fruit daily had significantly lower risks for CV death, major coronary events, ischemic stroke, and hemorrhagic stroke, the researchers found.
Results also revealed a strong log-linear dose-response relationship between incidence of each outcome and the amount of fresh fruit consumed.
The findings were largely independent of other dietary and nondietary factors, the researchers noted.
Study participants who ate fruit most often had lower systolic blood pressure and blood glucose levels than less frequent fruit eaters, which may account for the reduced risk for heart attacks and strokes, Dr Li told HealthDay.