‘Eating fruits, veggies daily may cut artery disease risk’

New York: Eating over three servings of fruits and vegetables every day may lower the risk of developing an artery disease that restricts blood flow to the legs, a new study claims.
Researchers, including those from New York University (NYU) in the US, analyzed data from about 3.7 million people.
They found that people who reported eating three or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables had 18 percent lower odds of peripheral artery disease (PAD) than those reporting eating less.
PAD narrows the arteries of the legs, limiting blood flow to the muscles and making it difficult or painful to walk or stand.
Researchers found that overall, 6.3 per cent of participants had PAD and 29.2 per cent reported eating three or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
“The study provides important information to the public that something as simple as adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet could have a major impact on the prevalence of life-altering peripheral artery disease,” said Jeffrey Berger, associate professor at NYU.
Participants, who had an average age of 64, completed medical and lifestyle questionnaires and ankle brachial index tests, which is a comparison of blood pressure differences between readings at the ankle and the forearm.
The association of fruit and vegetable intake and lower PAD risk persisted after accounting for age, gender, race, smoking status and multiple other cardiovascular risk factors, researchers said.
Researchers also noted older white women were most likely to eat three or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily, while younger black men were the least likely to report daily intake of three or more servings of fruits and vegetables.
Low fruit and vegetable intake was particularly associated with PAD among current and former smokers, researchers said.
“Our study gives further evidence for the importance of incorporating more fruits and vegetables in the diet,” said Sean Heffron from NYU.
The study was published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

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