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Eur J Epidemiol. 2013 Feb;28(2):119-30. doi: 10.1007/s10654-013-9783-1. Epub 2013 Feb 21.

Dietary fiber consumption and risk of stroke.

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Department of Neurology, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, 305# East Zhongshan Road, Nanjing, 210002, Jiangsu Province, China.


Observational studies suggest an association between dietary fiber consumption and risk of stroke, but the results are inconclusive. The authors conducted a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies to evaluate the relation between dietary fiber consumption and stroke risk and mortality. Relevant studies were identified by searching PubMed, Embase, and ISI Web of Science through February 2013. We included prospective studies that reported relative risks (RRs) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between dietary fiber consumption and stroke risk and mortality. Both fixed- and random-effects models were used to calculate the summary risk estimates. Eleven prospective studies involving 325,627 participants were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled RR of stroke for the highest compared with the lowest dietary fiber consumption was 0.83 (95 % CI 0.74, 0.93). In addition, the increment in dietary fiber consumption was associated with decreased stroke risk in a dose-response manner. Sensitivity analysis restricted to studies with control for conventional risk factors yielded similar results, and omission of any single study had little effect on the combined risk estimate. Moreover, there was a trend toward an inverse association between higher fiber consumption and stroke mortality (RR 0.85; 95 % CI 0.60, 1.20), although it is not significant. This meta-analysis indicated that dietary fiber consumption is inversely associated with stroke risk, and the effect is probably independent of conventional risk factors. Our results support recommendations for higher consumption of fiber-rich foods to prevent stroke.

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