Dietary fibre intake linked with lower heart disease related mortality – Korea 10-year cohort study

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

A elderly man attending a routine health checkup. © Getty Images
A elderly man attending a routine health checkup. © Getty Images

Related tags CVD Dietary fibre South korea

The higher the amount of dietary fibre intake, the lower the rate of mortality arising from heart diseases in middle-aged and older adults, a new study by South Korean researchers has shown.

Aside from cardiovascular diseases (CVD), a higher dietary fibre intake was also linked to a lower rate of all-cause mortality. 

The data of 143,050 individuals was recorded and analysed using a food frequency questionnaire. The questionnaire evaluated how often and how much they consumed each food item each week in a year.

The mean age of the individuals analysed was 53.9 ± 8.7, while the proportion of men was 35.6 per cent.

Among all the participants, 985 died from CVD, and 5,436 died from all-cause mortality by the end of the 10-year follow-up period.

The researchers published their findings in Nutrients ​recently.

Dividing the individuals into five quartiles based on their dietary fibre intake, the researchers found that all-cause mortality was 1,511 in the quartile with the lowest fibre intake.

This gradually reduces to 1,126 in the quartile with the second lowest fibre intake, and to 990, 951, and 858 for the subsequent quartiles.

In the quartile with the highest fibre intake, the number of CVD related mortality was also lowest at 127.

The number increases to 171, 145, 231, and 311 as the amount of fibre intake reduces.

Effects on metabolic parameters

Aside from mortality rates, the researchers also showed that dietary fibre intake amount was related to a lower glucose and triglyceride level.

“Participants with the highest DF [dietary fibre] intake had lower serum glucose level and triglyceride level.

“Moreover, participants with the highest DF intake had higher BMI, waist circumference, and serum HDL-C level and were more likely to regularly exercise and live in urban areas.

“Regarding nutritional intake, participants with the highest fibre intake consumed higher total energy and other nutrients, while they consumed less carbohydrate proportion,”​ said the researchers.

Subpopulation analysis

The researchers also found that low dietary fibre intake might be a key risk factor affecting mortality rates in patients with hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia.

When the study first began, there were 24,407 hypertension cases, 10,364 diabetes cases, and 81,219 dyslipidemia cases.

During the follow-up, there were 1,411 deaths in patients with hypertension, 838 deaths in patients with diabetes, and 3,008 deaths in patients with dyslipidemia respectively. 

The numbers of CVD deaths were 324 in patients with hypertension, 153 in patients with diabetes, and 591 in patients with dyslipidemia, respectively. 

“We analysed the effect of DF (dietary fibre) intake on total and CVD mortality in these patients and found that DF intake lowered the risk of all-cause mortality in patients with hypertension and dyslipidemia, and the risk of CVD mortality in patients with diabetes and dyslipidemia.

“Our findings suggest that low DF may be considered an important modifiable risk factor for decreasing mortality in patients with hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia,” ​the researchers said.

However, they also pointed out that the association between fibre intake, hypertension, diabetes, CVD mortality, and all-cause mortality was reduced after adjusting for confounders.    

“Although the exact mechanism is not known, different effects of DF subtypes and sources may explain the results to some extent…Further studies are needed to identify the association between DF and mortality considering the specific dietary type and sources,” ​the researchers said.


Source: Nutrients

Association of Dietary Fiber Intake with All-Cause Mortality and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality: A 10-Year Prospective Cohort Study

Authors: Kwon YJ et al

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