Could higher intake of vegetables in childhood lower risk of stroke.This link between childhood diet and cardiovascular mortality was examined in a very interesting study published in the journal Heart.
Cardiovascular disease, which occurs in adults is not just due to exposure to risk factors in adulthood but is more of an accumulated event over an entire lifetime. Previous studies have suggested that diets low in saturated fat, high in fruit, vegetables, and
fish, and rich in antioxidants are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Similarly adverse socioeconomic circumstances in childhood were found to be associated with higher cardiovascular mortality. The study included 1234 families and 4028 people
living in 16 areas of England and Scotland who were surveyed between 1937 and 1939. The had completed a seven day household inventory. Fruit and vegetable (excluding potato) consumption and intake of vitamin C, vitamin E, carotene, fish, oily fish, fat, and
saturated fat were analyzed.
The results showed that higher intake of vegetables in the childhood was associated with lower risk of stroke after adjusting for age, sex, energy intake, and a range of socioeconomic factors. However, the researchers point out that the effect of social
position in childhood, or of adult vegetable intake and associated lifestyle factors could be confounding factors. The result also showed that higher intake of fish was associated with higher risk of stroke. But surprisingly increased intake of antioxidants in childhood was not found to be protective against death from all causes or from cardiovascular disease.
But the author conclude that the association between childhood vegetable intake, fish intake and antioxidants and stroke mortality require confirmation.
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