Research Article: Fresh fruit consumption in relation to incident diabetes and diabetic vascular complications: A 7-y prospective study of 0.5 million Chinese adults

Date Published: April 11, 2017

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Huaidong Du, Liming Li, Derrick Bennett, Yu Guo, Iain Turnbull, Ling Yang, Fiona Bragg, Zheng Bian, Yiping Chen, Junshi Chen, Iona Y. Millwood, Sam Sansome, Liangcai Ma, Ying Huang, Ningmei Zhang, Xiangyang Zheng, Qiang Sun, Timothy J. Key, Rory Collins, Richard Peto, Zhengming Chen, Sanjay Basu

Abstract: BackgroundDespite the well-recognised health benefits of fresh fruit consumption, substantial uncertainties remain about its potential effects on incident diabetes and, among those with diabetes, on risks of death and major vascular complications.Methods and findingsBetween June 2004 and July 2008, the nationwide China Kadoorie Biobank study recruited 0.5 million adults aged 30–79 (mean 51) y from ten diverse localities across China. During ~7 y of follow-up, 9,504 new diabetes cases were recorded among 482,591 participants without prevalent (previously diagnosed or screen-detected) diabetes at baseline, with an overall incidence rate of 2.8 per 1,000 person-years. Among 30,300 (5.9%) participants who had diabetes at baseline, 3,389 deaths occurred (overall mortality rate 16.5 per 1,000), along with 9,746 cases of macrovascular disease and 1,345 cases of microvascular disease. Cox regression yielded adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) associating each disease outcome with self-reported fresh fruit consumption, adjusting for potential confounders such as age, sex, region, socio-economic status, other lifestyle factors, body mass index, and family history of diabetes. Overall, 18.8% of participants reported consuming fresh fruit daily, and 6.4% never/rarely (non-consumers), with the proportion of non-consumers about three times higher in individuals with previously diagnosed diabetes (18.9%) than in those with screen-detected diabetes (6.7%) or no diabetes (6.0%). Among those without diabetes at baseline, higher fruit consumption was associated with significantly lower risk of developing diabetes (adjusted HR = 0.88 [95% CI 0.83–0.93] for daily versus non-consumers, p < 0.001, corresponding to a 0.2% difference in 5-y absolute risk), with a clear dose–response relationship. Among those with baseline diabetes, higher fruit consumption was associated with lower risks of all-cause mortality (adjusted HR = 0.83 [95% CI 0.74–0.93] per 100 g/d) and microvascular (0.72 [0.61–0.87]) and macrovascular (0.87 [0.82–0.93]) complications (p < 0.001), with similar HRs in individuals with previously diagnosed and screen-detected diabetes; estimated differences in 5-y absolute risk between daily and non-consumers were 1.9%, 1.1%, and 5.4%, respectively. The main limitation of this study was that, owing to its observational nature, we could not fully exclude the effects of residual confounding.ConclusionIn this large epidemiological study in Chinese adults, higher fresh fruit consumption was associated with significantly lower risk of diabetes and, among diabetic individuals, lower risks of death and development of major vascular complications.

Partial Text: Diabetes affects more than 400 million people globally, including about a quarter in China [1], with substantial risks of premature death and a range of macrovascular (e.g., ischaemic heart disease [IHD], stroke, and peripheral vascular disease) and microvascular (e.g., nephropathy, retinopathy, and neuropathy) complications. Healthy diet plays an important role in both prevention and appropriate management of diabetes [2], and diets rich in fruit and vegetables are generally recommended [3,4], even though evidence about their effects, particularly for fruit consumption, among diabetic patients is still rather limited.

The China Kadoorie Biobank study was conducted in accordance with a predefined study protocol [16,17], and data analyses were performed following a prespecified analysis plan (S1 Text).

Of the 512,891 participants, 30,300 (5.9%) had diabetes at baseline, including 16,162 with previously diagnosed diabetes and 14,138 with screen-detected diabetes (Table 1). Based on age at diagnosis being <30 y and insulin use, 0.2% of the cases were likely to be type 1 diabetes. Individuals with diabetes were older and were more likely to be women, to live in urban areas, to be less physically active, and to have higher levels of BMI, waist circumference, and blood pressure. Among men, the proportions with current regular smoking and alcohol intake were about 10% lower in those with previously diagnosed diabetes than in those with screen-detected diabetes or those without diabetes. This large prospective study of Chinese adults with and without diabetes showed that higher fresh fruit consumption was significantly associated with a lower risk of developing diabetes, and also with a lower risk of dying or developing vascular complications among those who have already developed diabetes. These associations appeared to be similar in both men and women, in urban and rural residents, and in those with previously diagnosed and screen-detected diabetes. Moreover, higher fresh fruit consumption was not associated with elevated level of blood glucose. Source:


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