Vegetarianism can reduce risk of heart disease by up to a third

Monday, February 4, 2013 - 16:15

The risk of hospitalisation or death from heart disease is 32% lower in vegetarians than people who eat meat and fish, according to a new study from the Cancer Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford.

The analysis looked at almost 45,000 volunteers from England and Scotland enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Oxford study, of whom 34% were vegetarian. Such a significant representation of vegetarians is rare in studies of this type, and allowed researchers to make more precise estimates of the relative risks between the two groups.

This is the largest study ever conducted in the UK comparing rates of heart disease between vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

The researchers found that vegetarians had lower blood pressures and cholesterol levels than non-vegetarians, which is thought to be the main reason behind their reduced risk of heart disease.

Read the original research article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Read the Oxford University media article about this research

Read an article about the research on the BBC News website

 

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