Huge Chinese study shows that fresh fruit is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke

A Chinese study involving 500,000 people has shown the consumption of fresh fruit relates to a reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. The study, conducted in China, looked at the impact of fresh fruit, as it is consumed in much lower volumes per person in China than in other countries such as the UK and the US. The research was conducted by the University of Oxford and the Chinese Academy of Medical Science and looked at adults from 10 urban and rural societies across China. To ensure the study was as accurate as possible, the team tracked health for seven years through hospital records and death records. To gain an accurate base level for the test, no one with a history of cardiovascular or hypertension issues were involved in the study. The health benefits of fruit have long been known, but consumption of fruit is linked to lots of things including education, smoking habits and lower blood pressure. Allowing for all these variables, 100 grams of fruit consumed per day resulted in a third less cardiovascular mortality and the association was similar across different areas of the study. Study author Dr Huaidong Du, University of Oxford, UK, said "The association between fruit consumption and cardiovascular risk seems to be stronger in China, where many still eat little fruit, than in high-income countries where daily consumption of fruit is more common." Co-author Professor Liming Li, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, said "A recent Global Burden of Disease report put low fruit consumption as one of the leading causes of premature death in China.” In the UK, stroke is the 4th biggest killer. It’s estimated that 6.8 million people are thought to be at risk of stroke in the UK due to undiagnosed high blood pressure. 150,000 people suffer a stroke each year in the UK and a quarter of these are fatal. The single biggest risk factor is high blood pressure. Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland is teaming up with the Stroke Association to help combat strokes and the risk associated with them for Know Your Blood Pressure Day. Today will see 360 events take place across the UK with 24,000 reading to be taken. 78% of those who were found to have high blood pressure last year were not already receiving treatment before the test needed it, proving just how vital this campaign is. The campaign is in the 13th year and you can find more information on the stroke association's website.   (image credit: moodboard / Thinkstock)

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