Consumption of fruits and vegetables and cardiovascular mortality in renal transplant recipients: A prospective cohort study

Camilo G Sotomayor*, António W Gomes-Neto, Michele F Eisenga, Ilja M Nolte, Josephine L C Anderson, Martin H de Borst, Maryse C J Osté, Ramón Rodrigo, Rijk O B Gans, Stefan P Berger, Gerjan J Navis, Stephan J L Bakker

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: It currently remains understudied whether low consumption of fruits and vegetables after kidney transplantation may be a modifiable cardiovascular risk factor. We aimed to investigate the associations between consumption of fruits and vegetables and cardiovascular mortality in renal transplant recipients (RTRs). Methods: Consumption of fruits and vegetables was assessed in an extensively phenotyping cohort of RTRs. Multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were performed to assess the risk of cardiovascular mortality. Results: We included 400 RTRs (age 52 ± 12 years, 54% males). At a median follow-up of 7.2 years, 23% of RTRs died (53% were due to cardiovascular causes). Overall, fruit consumption was not associated with cardiovascular mortality {hazard ratio [HR] 0.82 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.60-1.14]; P = 0.24}, whereas vegetable consumption was inversely associated with cardiovascular mortality [HR 0.49 (95% CI 0.34-0.71); P < 0.001]. This association remained independent of adjustment for several potential confounders. The association of fruit consumption with cardiovascular mortality was significantly modified by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR; Pinteraction = 0.01) and proteinuria (Pinteraction = 0.01), with significant inverse associations in patients with eGFR > 45 mL/min/1.73 m2 [HR 0.56 (95% CI 0.35-0.92); P = 0.02] or the absence of proteinuria [HR 0.62 (95% CI 0.41-0.92); P = 0.02]. Conclusions: In RTRs, a relatively higher vegetable consumption is independently and strongly associated with lower cardiovascular mortality. A relatively higher fruit consumption is also associated with lower cardiovascular mortality, although particularly in RTRs with eGFR > 45 mL/min/1.73 m2 or an absence of proteinuria. Further studies seem warranted to investigate whether increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables may open opportunities for potential interventional pathways to decrease the burden of cardiovascular mortality in RTRs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-365
Number of pages9
JournalNephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation
Issue number2
Early online date27-Aug-2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2020


  • cardiovascular mortality
  • fruit consumption
  • kidney transplantation
  • renal transplant recipients
  • vegetable consumption
  • RISK

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