Introduction: Little information is available about the association between vegetable preference and chronic kidney disease. Methods: This retrospective cohort study included 10,819 university workers in Japan who underwent their annual health checkups between January 2005 and March 2013. According to a question “Do you like vegetables”? with 3 possible answers of “I like vegetables,” “I like vegetables somewhat,” or “I dislike vegetables,” 2,831, 2,249, and 104 male workers and 3,902, 1,648, and 85 female workers were classified into the “like,” “somewhat,” and “dislike” groups, respectively. An association between vegetable preference and incidence of proteinuria (dipstick urinary protein ≥1+) was assessed using Cox proportional-hazards models adjusted for clinically relevant factors. Results: During the median observational period of 5.0 years, the incidence of proteinuria was observed in 650 (12.7%) male and 789 (14.1%) female workers. Among male workers, the “dislike” group had a significantly higher risk of proteinuria (multivariable-adjusted hazard ratio of “like,” “somewhat,” and “dislike” groups: 1.00 [reference], 1.05 [0.90–1.23], and 1.59 [1.01–2.50], respectively). Among female workers, vegetable preference was associated with the incidence of proteinuria in a dose-dependent manner (1.00 [reference], 1.20 [1.04–1.40], 1.95 [1.26–3.02], respectively). Conclusion: “Do you like vegetables”? was a clinically useful tool to identify subjects vulnerable to proteinuria.

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