Aging and menopausal changes contribute to increased cardiovascular risks in postmenopausal women. This study examined the associations of total and specific fruit and vegetable consumption with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) status, a critical cardiovascular risk factor, in early postmenopausal Chinese women.Methods:
A total of 508 postmenopausal Hong Kong Chinese women aged 50 to 64 years were recruited into a cohort study on cardiovascular risks. Sociodemographic characteristics, medical conditions, use of medications, and lifestyle factors were obtained via structured interviews. Dietary intake was assessed using a validated food frequency questionnaire. LDL-C and total cholesterol concentrations were determined using biochemical enzymatic techniques and categorized according to the Adult Treatment Panel III classification.Results:
Ordinal logistic regression analysis showed that women with total fruit and vegetable intake in the highest quartile were 33% less likely (odds ratio [OR] = 0.67; 95% CI, 0.44-1.03) to have a worse LDL-C status than those with lower intake after adjustments. The intakes of total vegetables (OR = 0.63; 95% CI, 0.41-0.96) and vegetable subgroups in the highest quartiles, including darkgreen leafy vegetables (OR = 0.60; 95% CI, 0.41-0.89) and corn and tubers (OR = 0.62; 95% CI, 0.40-0.96), were significantly inversely associated with LDL-C status. Further adjustment for total cholesterol did not attenuate the associations.Conclusions:
A daily consumption of vegetables equivalent to about four servings or more might be beneficial for LDL-C control in early Chinese postmenopausal women. In particular, darkgreen leafy vegetables, as well as corn and tubers, deserve greater advocacy for their ability to improve lipid profiles and hence cardiovascular health.