New Study in The New England Journal of Medicine
A prospective study that followed over 450,000 adults across China found that people who ate fresh fruit daily tended to have lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels, and a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who never or rarely ate fruit. The study collected 3.2 million person-years of follow-up data, during which 5,173 people died of cardiovascular disease and 14,753 suffered ischemic strokes. Those who ate fruit every day were 40% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, 34% less likely to suffer a major coronary event, 25% less likely to experience an ischemic stroke, and 36% less likely to have a hemorrhagic stroke than those who never ate it.
The study excluded people with a history of cardiovascular disease and those on hypertensive medication.
While Chinese adults regularly eat vegetables, they tend to skimp on fruit—typically consumed raw and as a snack. Only 18% of participants reported eating fresh, raw fruit every day. The authors estimate that eating more fruit could save 560,000 people from dying of cardiovascular disease in China–that’s similar to the number of people who die from cancer in the United States every year.
Huaidong Du, et al. Fresh Fruit Consumption and Major Cardiovascular Disease in China. The New England Journal of Medicine, April 2016.