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Role of vegetables and fruits in Mediterranean diets to prevent hypertension



Several studies support the effectiveness of increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables (F&V) to prevent hypertension. However, none of them have been conducted in a Mediterranean setting. The aim of this study was to assess the association between F&V consumption and the risk of hypertension.


A prospective Mediterranean study (the SUN cohort), including 8594 participants aged 20–95 years (mean, 41.1) with median follow-up of 49 months.


Analyses according to the joint classification by olive oil and F&V consumption showed a significant inverse relation between F&V consumption and the risk of hypertension only among participants with a low olive oil consumption (<15 g per day). Also, tests for trend were significant only in the low olive oil intake stratum.


We found a statistically significant interaction (P=0.01) between olive oil intake and F&V consumption. These data suggest a sub-additive effect of both food items.

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We thank all members of the SUN Study Group for administrative, technical and material support. We thank participants of the SUN Study for continued cooperation and participation. The SUN Study has received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Health (Grants PI030678, PI040233, PI070240, RD06/0045, and G03/140), the Navarra Regional Government (PI141/2005) and the University of Navarra. The SUN Study has received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Health (Grants PI030678, PI040233, P1070240, RD06/0045, and G03/140), the Navarra Regional Government (PI141/2005) and the University of Navarra.

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Correspondence to J M Nuñez-Cordoba.

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Guarantor: JM Nuñez-Cordoba.

Contributors: JMN-C and MAM-G had full access to all the data in the study and took responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of analyses. All authors participated in the conception and design of the study, and collection and assembly of data. JMN-C and MAM-G performed the statistical analysis. JMN-C, AA and MAM-G drafted the manuscript. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content was made by all authors. All authors read and approved the final paper.

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Nuñez-Cordoba, J., Alonso, A., Beunza, J. et al. Role of vegetables and fruits in Mediterranean diets to prevent hypertension. Eur J Clin Nutr 63, 605–612 (2009).

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  • fruit
  • vegetable
  • hypertension
  • olive oil
  • Mediterranean diet
  • prospective studies

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