HealthDay News — According to a study presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health 2017 Scientific Sessions in Portland, getting people worldwide to eat more fruits and vegetables could significantly reduce disability and premature death from heart disease.
Investigators analyzed data and previous studies to determine how fruit and vegetable consumption affected the number of heart disease-related disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) in 195 countries.
The researchers found that low intake of fruits accounted for 57.3 million DALYs, and low intake of vegetables accounted for 44.6 million DALYs. The burden of heart disease attributed to limited fruit intake was lowest in Rwanda (5.1%) and highest in Bangladesh (23.2%).
The burden of heart disease attributed to limited vegetable intake was lowest in North Korea (5.9%) and highest in Mongolia (19.4%). The richest countries had the lowest burden of heart disease associated with low intake of fruits and vegetables.
“Our findings suggest that population inventions to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables at population level could save millions of life years globally,” the authors write.
Lack of Fruits and Vegetables Increases Global Heart Disease Burden [press release]. Portland, OR: American Heart Association; March 7, 2017.