Fruit and vegetable intake and cardiovascular risk factors in people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes

M. J E Lamb, S. J. Griffin*, S. J. Sharp, A. J M Cooper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Objectives:The cardiovascular benefit of increasing fruit and vegetable (F&V) intake following diagnosis of diabetes remains unknown. We aimed to describe how quantity and variety of F&V intake, and plasma vitamin C, change after diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and examine whether these changes are associated with improvements in cardiovascular risk factors.Subjects/Methods:A total of 401 individuals with screen-detected diabetes from the ADDITION-Cambridge study were followed up over 5 years. F&V intake was assessed by food frequency questionnaire and plasma vitamin C at baseline, at 1 year and at 5 years. Linear mixed models were used to estimate associations of changes in quantity and variety of F&V intake, and plasma vitamin C, with cardiovascular risk factors and a clustered cardiometabolic risk score (CCMR), where a higher score indicates higher risk.Results:F&V intake increased in year 1 but decreased by year 5, whereas variety remained unchanged. Plasma vitamin C increased at 1 year and at 5 years. Each s.d. increase (250g between baseline and 1 year and 270g between 1 and 5 years) in F&V intake was associated with lower waist circumference (-0.92 (95% CI: -1.57, -0.27) cm), HbA 1c (-0.11 (-0.20, -0.03) %) and CCMR (-0.04 (-0.08, -0.01)) at 1 year and higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (0.04 (0.01, 0.06) mmol/l) at 5 years. Increased plasma vitamin C (per s.d., 22.5 μmol/l) was associated with higher HDL-cholesterol (0.04 (0.01, 0.06) mmol/l) and lower CCMR (-0.07 (-0.12, -0.03)) between 1 and 5 years.Conclusions:Increases in F&V quantity following diagnosis of diabetes are associated with lower cardiovascular risk factors. Health promotion interventions might highlight the importance of increasing, and maintaining increases in, F&V intake for improved cardiometabolic health in patients with diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-121
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
Early online date19 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

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© The Author(s), 2017.

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