BACKGROUND: Little is known about the effects of dietary fiber intake on long-term mortality.
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to study recent and long-term dietary fiber intake in relation to coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality.
DESIGN: The effects of recent and long-term dietary fiber intakes on mortality were investigated in the Zutphen Study, a cohort of 1,373 men born between 1900 and 1920 and examined repeatedly between 1960 and 2000. During that period, 1,130 men died, 348 as a result of coronary heart disease. Hazard ratios were obtained from time-dependent Cox regression models.
RESULTS: Every additional 10 g of recent dietary fiber intake per day reduced coronary heart disease mortality by 17% (95% CI: 2%, 30%) and all-cause mortality by 9% (0%, 18%). The strength of the association between long-term dietary fiber intake and all-cause mortality decreased from age 50 y (hazard ratio: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.55, 0.93) until age 80 y (0.99; 0.87, 1.12). We observed no clear associations for different types of dietary fiber.
CONCLUSIONS: A higher recent dietary fiber intake was associated with a lower risk of both coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality. For long-term intake, the strength of the association between dietary fiber and all-cause mortality decreased with increasing age.