(HealthDay News) — Fruit and vegetable intake is very low in the hemodialysis population, with higher consumption associated with lower mortality, according to a study published online in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Valeria M. Saglimbene, from the University of Sydney, and colleagues examined the correlation between fruit and vegetable intake and mortality in hemodialysis patients in a multinational cohort study involving 9757 adults on hemodialysis; 83% had analyzable dietary data.

The researchers identified 2082 deaths (954 cardiovascular) during a median follow-up of 2.7 years. Per week, the median number of servings of fruit and vegetables was 8; only 4% of the study population consumed the recommended 4 or more servings per day. The adjusted hazard ratios for the middle (5.6 to 10; median, 8) and highest (>10; median, 17) vs the lowest (0 to 5.5; median, 2) tertile of servings per week were 0.90 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81 to 1.00) and 0.80 (95% CI, 0.71 to 0.91), respectively, for all-cause mortality; 0.88 (95% CI, 0.76 to 1.02) and 0.77 (95% CI, 0.66 to 0.91) for noncardiovascular mortality; and 0.95 (95% CI, 0.81 to 1.11) and 0.84 (95% CI, 0.70 to 1.00) for cardiovascular mortality.

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“Future studies exploring the potential benefits of a whole dietary approach in the hemodialysis setting are also warranted,” the authors write.

The study was funded by Diaverum, a provider of renal services; several authors are employees of Diaverum.

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Saglimbene VM, Wong G, Ruospo M, et al. Fruit and Vegetable Intake and Mortality in Adults undergoing Maintenance Hemodialysis. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. DOI:10.2215/CJN.08580718

Moorthi RN. Does an Apple (or Many) Each Day, Keep Mortality Away? Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. January 2019, CJN.15001218; DOI:10.2215/CJN.15001218