The risk of hospitalization and/or death due to heart disease is 32% lower for those individuals who do not consume meat, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (January 31).
Researchers from the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford surveyed nearly 45,000 volunteers, 34% of whom were vegetarians. Over the course of multiple years, volunteers submitted to blood pressure and cholesterol check-ups. In that time, heart disease was identified in more than 1,200 people, including 169 deaths from heart disease.
The study's conductors arrived at the figure of 32% risk reduction for non-meat eaters after accounting for factors such as age, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, educational level and socioeconomic background.
"Most of the difference in risk is probably caused by effects on cholesterol and blood pressure, and shows the important role of diet in the prevention of heart disease," explains Dr Francesca Crow, lead author of the study.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in developed countries.
by RTT Staff Writer
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