Background Previous studies demonstrated that high fruit consumption was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular events in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. However, the relationship between fruit intake and carotid atherosclerosis in these patients is unknown. We studied the relationship between dietary fruit intake and carotid intima-media thickness in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
Methods A total of 255 Chinese patients with Type 2 diabetes were recruited. Dietary fruit intake was assessed by a validated food-frequency questionnaire, and carotid intima-media thickness was measured by high-resolution ultrasonography.
Results Among patients with three different tertiles of fruit intake (14.5 ± 8.6 vs. 41.5 ± 7.1 vs. 92.6 ± 39.7 g/day), there was no difference in their clinical characteristics (all P > 0.05). Patients with the highest tertile of fruit intake had a significantly higher BMI and diastolic blood pressure than those with the lowest tertile intake. Furthermore, serum high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, 8-isoprostane and superoxide dismutase were similar among the three tertiles of patients (all P > 0.05). However, patients with the highest tertile of fruit intake had lower carotid intima-media thickness (0.97 ± 0.02 vs. 1.08 ± 0.03 mm, P = 0.046) and prevalence of carotid plaque (11.76 vs. 1.18%, P = 0.022) than those with the lowest tertile of fruit intake. Multivariate regression analysis revealed the highest tertile of fruit intake (β = −0.086, P = 0.049) was independently associated with carotid intima-media thickness.
Conclusions Our results demonstrated that, in Chinese patients with Type 2 diabetes, higher dietary fruit intake was associated with a lower burden of carotid atherosclerosis as reflected by lower carotid intima-media thickness and prevalence of carotid plaque.