Background: There is limited evidence in the literature regarding associations between fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of frailty. Objective: To examine associations between fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of incident frailty and incident prefrailty/frailty. Design: A prospective panel study. Setting and Subjects: 2634 non-frail community-dwelling men and women aged 60 years or older from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Methods: Fruit and vegetable consumption/day was measured using a self-completion questionnaire at baseline. Frailty status was measured at baseline and follow-up was based on modified frailty phenotype criteria. Four-year incident frailty was examined among 2634 robust or prefrail participants, and incident prefrailty/frailty was measured among 1577 robust participants. Results: Multivariable logistic regression models adjusted for age, gender, and other confounders showed that fruit and vegetable consumption was not associated with incident frailty risks among robust or prefrail participants. However, robust participants consuming 5–7.5 portions of 80 g per day (odds ratio (OR) = 0.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.37–0.85, p
< 0.01) and 7.5–10 portions per day (OR = 0.46, 95%CI = 0.27–0.77, p
< 0.01) had significantly lower risk of incident prefrailty/frailty compared with those consuming 0–2.5 portions/day, whereas those consuming 10 or more portions/day did not (OR = 1.10, 95%CI = 0.54–2.26, p
= 0.79). Analysis repeated with fruit and vegetable separately showed overall similar results. Conclusions: Robust older adults without frailty who eat current U.K. government recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption (5–10 portions/day) had significantly reduced risks of incident prefrailty/frailty compared with those who only eat small amount (0–2.5 portions/day). Older people can be advised that eating sufficient amounts of fruit and vegetable may be beneficial for frailty prevention.
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