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Study of 44,500 people shows vegetarians are 32% less likely to die or need hospital treatment as a result of heart disease

January 31, 2013

Study of 44,500 people shows vegetarians are 32% less likely to die or need hospital treatment as a result of heart disease

Very interesting! Before everyone starts pointing out potential errors with this study, please click the link and read. Here are some important parts:
This is the largest study ever conducted in the UK comparing rates of heart disease between vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

The analysis looked at almost 45,000 volunteers from England and Scotland ..], 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.
The Oxford researchers arrived at the figure of 32% risk reduction

after accounting for factors such as age, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, educational level and socioeconomic background

.
If the results are adjusted to exclude the effects of BMI,

vegetarians remain 28% less likely to develop heart disease

. In other words: Some common suggestions for confounding variables have already been accounted for. The authors themselves say this in their conclusion (from the abstract):
[Consuming a vegetarian diet was associated with lower IHD risk,

a finding that is probably mediated by differences in non-HDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure

.

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