Fruit, vegetable intake prevents frailty in older women
Regular consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of frailty in women aged ≥60 years, reveals a study.
The authors followed 78,366 nonfrail women aged ≥60 years from the Nurses’ Health Study from 1990 to 2014 to prospectively examine the link between fruit and vegetable intake and incident frailty in this population. The primary exposure in this analysis was the intake of fruits and vegetables, assessed using a food frequency questionnaire administered six times during follow-up.
Frailty was defined as having three or more of the following criteria from the FRAIL scale: fatigue, poor strength, low aerobic capacity, having five or more illnesses, and ≥5-percent weight loss. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between fruit and vegetable intake and incident frailty were calculated using Cox models adjusted for potential confounders.
During follow-up, a total of 12,434 (15.9 percent) incident frailty cases were recorded. Total fruit and vegetable intakes correlated with a decreased risk of frailty (adjusted HR comparing 7+ vs <3 servings/d, 0.92, 95 percent CI, 0.85–0.99).
The inverse association was more robust among those who were physically active (pinteraction<0.05). Compared with those who consumed <3 servings/d, physically active women with 7+ servings/d of fruits and vegetables had an HR of 0.68 (95 percent CI, 0.57–0.81).
“Prior research has suggested that the antioxidative and anti-inflammatory potential of fruits and vegetables may ameliorate aging-related frailty,” the authors said.
“Because of limited evidence on intakes of fruits and vegetables and the development of frailty, more data are needed to confirm our results,” they added.