Cruciferous vegetable intake and cardiovascular disease risk in the Framingham Offspring Cohort
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Fruit and vegetable intake has been demonstrated to be inversely correlated with CVD risk, but it remains to be elucidated whether different subclasses of fruits and vegetables and their bioactive constituents have different effects on CVD risk. Cruciferous vegetables have garnered increasing attention over the years, as evidence for their protective role in cancer and other chronic diseases has grown. However, since studies examining associations between cruciferous vegetable intake and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are limited and some results are conflicting, we used data from the Framingham Offspring Study starting with examination 5 (N=2902) to evaluate the association between cruciferous vegetable intake and carefully adjudicated cardiovascular outcomes, cruciferous vegetable consumption was classified into 4 categories; <1, 1-<3, 3-<6, and 6+ one-half cup servings per week. Cox proportional hazard models were used to adjust for potential confounding; the final model contained baseline BMI, age, smoking status, alcohol intake (drinks per day), total fruit and vegetable intake, and trans fatty acid intake. Follow up continued for three consecutive 4-year exam cycles. Using <1.0 serving/week as the referent category, the hazard ratios (HR) for CVD declined in a dose-response manner with cruciferous vegetable intake (HR: 0.79, 95% CI: 0.64-0.98; HR: 0.78, 95% CI: 0.61-1.01; and HR: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.45-0.98, respectively. In sex-stratified analysis, the strongest effects were found in men consuming 6+ servings per week (HR: 0.49, 95% CI: 0.24 – 0.98). HR estimates also declined in women, but with less of a dose-response pattern. Overall, these data suggests that there is an inverse association between cruciferous vegetable intake and CVD risk in both men and women.