For Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes, increased dietary fiber and fruit and vegetable intake is associated with reduced risk of stroke, according to a study published in Diabetes Care (2013;36:3916-3922).

Shiro Tanaka, PhD, from Kyoto University in Japan, and colleagues examined the correlation between fiber-rich food consumption and cardiovascular disease in a cohort of 1,414 patients with type 2 diabetes without history of cardiovascular disease, aged 40 to 70 years, and whose hemoglobin A1c values were 6.5% or higher. Participants completed a dietary survey.

During a median follow-up of 8.1 years, the researchers identified 68 strokes and 96 cases of coronary heart disease. Intake of dietary fiber in the fourth versus the first quartile was associated with a non-significant 61% decreased risk of stroke; for fruits and vegetable intake, the risk was decreased significantly by 65%. No significant associations were observed for coronary heart disease. Each 1-gram increment of soluble fiber was associated with a significant 52% decreased risk of stroke; each 1-gram increment in total or insoluble dietary fiber was associated with a significant 18% and 21% decreased risk.

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“Increased dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, and vegetables and fruits were associated with lower incident stroke but not coronary heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes,” the authors concluded.