- Japan Epidemiological Association
- Journal of Epidemiology (ISSN:09175040)
- vol.32, no.2, pp.89-95, 2022-02-05 (Released:2022-02-05)
Background: Marital transitions are associated with adverse health events, such as mortality and cardiovascular disease. Since marital transitions (eg, becoming widowed) are unavoidable life events, it is necessary to identify modifiable intermediate outcomes. Thus, we examined the association between marital transitions and vegetable intake among middle-aged and older Japanese adults.Methods: This longitudinal study included Japanese adults aged 40–79 years who received an annual health checkup between 2007 and 2011 (baseline) and 5 years later (follow-up). Marital transitions were classified as whether and what type of transition occurred during the 5-year period and comprised five groups: consistently married, married to widowed, married to divorced, not married to married, and remained not married. Changes in total vegetable, green and yellow vegetable, and light-colored vegetable intake from baseline to follow-up were calculated using the Food Frequency Questionnaire.Results: Data from 4,813 participants were analyzed (mean age, 59.4 years; 44.1% women). Regarding marital transitions, 3,960 participants were classified as “consistently married,” 135 as “married to widowed,” 40 as “married to divorced,” 60 as “not married to married,” and 529 as “remained not married.” Multivariable linear regression analysis revealed that compared to consistently married, married to widowed was inversely associated with the change in total vegetable intake (β = −16.64, SE = 7.68, P = 0.030) and light-colored vegetable intake (β = −11.46, SE = 4.33, P = 0.008).Conclusion: Our findings suggest that being widowed could result in a reduced intake of vegetables. Hence, dietary counseling according to marital situation is necessary.