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Worldwide associations of fruit and vegetable supply with blood pressure from 1975 to 2015: an ecological study.

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Oude Griep, Linda M  ORCID logo
Mahadevan, Preveina 


Low fruit and vegetable consumption is a major modifiable risk factor for raised blood pressure (BP), but it is unknown how heterogeneity in national supply has contributed to BP trends. To address this, we characterised supply trends from 1975 to 2015 and whether it met WHO recommendations. We then examined associations with three metrics: systolic, diastolic and raised BP. We used ecological data on fruit and vegetable supply and on BP for 159 countries. We examined trends in fruit and vegetable supply from 1975 to 2015 by country and World Bank income region. Multivariable linear regression was used to examine cross-sectional associations with BP. Global fruit and vegetable supply increased from 1975 to 2015, but with heterogeneous national and regional trends. While WHO recommendations were met globally, this target was not met in almost half the countries, of which many were low-income countries. Significant associations between combined fruit and vegetable supply and raised BP were observed. Over the past four decades, combined fruit and vegetable supply has been consistently and strongly associated with lower prevalence of raised BP globally. However, the heterogeneous regional trends in fruit and vegetable supply underpin the need for international organisations and individual governments to introduce or strengthen policies for increased fruit and vegetable supply to reduce the burden of non-communicable diseases at national and global levels.



Blood pressure lowering, Nutrient deficiencies

Journal Title

BMJ Nutr Prev Health

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BMJ Publishing Group
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH) (146281)
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)