Genetically Predicted Vegetable Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases and Risk Factors: An Investigation with Mendelian Randomization
Feng Q., Grant AJ., Yang Q., Burgess S., Bešević J., Conroy M., Omiyale W., Sun Y., Allen N., Lacey B.
Background: The associations between vegetable intake and cardiovascular diseases have been demonstrated in observational studies, but less sufficiently in randomized trials. Mendelian randomization has been considered a promising alternative in causal inference. The separate effects of cooked and raw vegetable intake remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate the associations between cooked and raw vegetable intake with cardiovascular outcomes using MR. Methods: We identified 15 and 28 genetic variants statistically and biologically associated with cooked and raw vegetable intake, respectively, from previous genome-wide association studies, which were used as instrumental variables to estimate associations with coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, heart failure (HF), and atrial fibrillation (AF). The independent effects of genetically predicted cooked and raw vegetable intake were examined using multivariable MR analysis. We performed one-sample and two-sample MR analyses and combined their results using meta-analysis. Bonferroni correction was applied for multiple comparisons. We performed two-sample MR analysis for cardiometabolic risk factors (serum lipids, blood pressure, body mass index, and glycemic traits) to explore the potential mechanisms. Results: In the MR meta-analysis of 1.2 million participants, we found null evidence for associations between genetically predicted cooked and raw vegetable intake with CHD, HF, or AF. Raw vegetable intake was nominally associated with stroke (odds ratio [95% confidence interval] 0.82 [0.69–0.98] per 1 daily serving increase, p = 0.03), but this association did not pass the corrected significance level. We found consistently null evidence for associations with serum lipids, blood pressure, body mass index, or glycemic traits. Conclusions: We found null evidence for associations between genetically predicted vegetable intake with CHD, AF, HF, or cardiometabolic risk factors in this MR study. Raw vegetable intake may reduce risk of stroke, but this warrants more research. True associations between vegetable intake and CVDs cannot be completely ruled out, and future investigations are required for causal inference in nutritional research.