Higher fiber intake is associated with a lower risk of first stroke, according to a meta-analysis published online ahead of print in Stroke.

Diane E. Threapleton, from University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a review of the literature to identify healthy participant studies reporting fiber intake and incidence of first hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke published from 1990 to 2012.

The researchers found that, based on eight studies, total dietary fiber intake was inversely associated with risk of hemorrhagic plus ischemic stroke. Each 7 g/day increment in intake was associated with a 7% decreased risk, although there was some heterogeneity between the studies. The researchers observed no reduction of stroke risk for soluble fiber intake, with low heterogeneity between studies. Few studies were identified that assessed the relationship between stroke risk and insoluble fiber or fiber from cereals, fruit, or vegetables.

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“Greater dietary fiber intake is significantly associated with lower risk of first stroke,” the authors wrote.