Although a diet high in fruit and vegetable intake is generally discouraged in patients with end-stage kidney disease treated with haemodialysis due to the potential risk of hyperkalaemia, new research in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology suggests that higher consumption could actually reduce the risk of both all-cause and non-cardiovascular mortality in this population.
The multi-national prospective cohort study included 8,078 adults on haemodialysis. Diet was assessed using the Global Allergy and Asthma European Network food frequency questionnaire.
Over a median follow-up of 2.7 years, there were 2,082 deaths, 954 of which were from cardiovascular causes.
Compared with patients who had less than 5.5 servings of combined fruits and vegetables per week, those who had 5.6-10 servings and those with more than 10 servings had 10 per cent and 20 per cent lower risks of dying from any cause, as well as 12 per cent and 23 per cent lower risks of dying from non-cardiovascular causes, respectively.
"These findings suggest that well-meaning guidance to limit fruit and vegetable intake to prevent higher dietary potassium load may deprive haemodialysis patients of the potential benefits of these foods,” said author, Prof Germaine Wong from the University of Sydney School of Public Health in Australia.