Association of fruit and vegetable consumption during early adulthood with the prevalence of coronary artery calcium after 20 years of follow-up

Michael D. Miedema*, Andrew Petrone, James M. Shikany, Philip Greenland, Cora E. Lewis, Mark J. Pletcher, J. Michael Gaziano, Luc Djousse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Scopus citations


Background - The relationship between intake of fruits and vegetables (F/V) during young adulthood and coronary atherosclerosis later in life is unclear. Methods and Results - We studied participants of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, a cohort of young, healthy black and white individuals at baseline (1985-1986). Intake of F/V at baseline was assessed using a semiquantitative interview administered diet history, and coronary artery calcium was measured at year 20 (2005-2006) using computed tomography. We used logistic regression to adjust for relevant variables and estimate the adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals across energy-adjusted, sex-specific tertiles of total servings of F/V per day. Among our sample (n=2506), the mean (SD) age at baseline was 25.3 (3.5) years, and 62.7% were female. After adjustment for demographics and lifestyle variables, higher intake of F/V was associated with a lower prevalence of coronary artery calcium: odds ratio (95% confidence interval) =1.00 (reference), 0.78 (0.59-1.02), and 0.74 (0.56-0.99), from the lowest to the highest tertile of F/V, P value for trend <0.001. There was attenuation of the association between F/V and coronary artery calcium after adjustment for other dietary variables, but the trend remained significant: odds ratio (95% confidence interval): 1.00 (reference), 0.84 (0.63-1.11), and 0.92 (0.67-1.26), P value for trend <0.002]. Conclusions - In this longitudinal cohort study, higher intake of F/V during young adulthood was associated with lower odds of prevalent coronary artery calcium after 20 years of follow-up. Our results reinforce the importance of establishing a high intake of F/V as part of a healthy dietary pattern early in life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1990-1998
Number of pages9
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 24 2015


  • atherosclerosis
  • coronary disease
  • diet
  • epidemiology
  • imaging, diagnostic
  • nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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