Mortality and Vegetarianism

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(My Notes: To each their own, I’m not here to specifically argue against vegetarianism as a choice…it’s usually better than the the standard American diet, but I do not believe it is the optimum diet. The entirety of the data doesn’t show it’s superior to standard diets as most would have you believe.  I haven’t even included the problems with vitamin B12 deficiency and elevated homocysteine.  If you choose to be a vegetarian I’ve included this link elsewhere to help you optimize it.  Continue to focus on REAL FOOD either way.)

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10479225

Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Sep;70(3 Suppl):516S-524S.

Mortality in vegetarians and nonvegetarians: detailed findings from a collaborative analysis of 5 prospective studies.

Key TJ, Fraser GE, Thorogood M, Appleby PN, Beral V, Reeves G, Burr ML, Chang-Claude J, Frentzel-Beyme R, Kuzma JW, Mann J, McPherson K.

Source

Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Oxford, United Kingdom. key@icrf.icnet.uk

Abstract

We combined data from 5 prospective studies to compare the death rates from common diseases of vegetarians with those of nonvegetarians with similar lifestyles. A summary of these results was reported previously; we report here more details of the findings. Data for 76172 men and women were available. Vegetarians were those who did not eat any meat or fish (n = 27808). Death rate ratios at ages 16-89 y were calculated by Poisson regression and all results were adjusted for age, sex, and smoking status. A random-effects model was used to calculate pooled estimates of effect for all studies combined. There were 8330 deaths after a mean of 10.6 y of follow-up. Mortality from ischemic heart disease was 24% lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians (death rate ratio: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.62, 0.94; P<0.01). The lower mortality from ischemic heart disease among vegetarians was greater at younger ages and was restricted to those who had followed their current diet for >5 y. Further categorization of diets showed that, in comparison with regular meat eaters, mortality from ischemic heart disease was 20% lower in occasional meat eaters, 34% lower in people who ate fish but not meat, 34% lower in lactoovovegetarians, and 26% lower in vegans. There were no significant differences between vegetarians and nonvegetarians in mortality from cerebrovascular disease, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, or all other causes combined.

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19297458

 

Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1613S-1619S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736L. Epub 2009 Mar 18.

Mortality in British vegetarians: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford).

Key TJ, Appleby PN, Spencer EA, Travis RC, Roddam AW, Allen NE.

Source

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom. tim.key@ceu.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few prospective studies have examined the mortality of vegetarians.

OBJECTIVE:

We present results on mortality among vegetarians and nonvegetarians in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford).

DESIGN:

We used a prospective study of men and women recruited throughout the United Kingdom in the 1990s.

RESULTS:

Among 64,234 participants aged 20-89 y for whom diet group was known, 2965 had died before age 90 by 30 June 2007. The death rates of participants are much lower than average for the United Kingdom. The standardized mortality ratio for all causes of death was 52% (95% CI: 50%, 54%) and was identical in vegetarians and in nonvegetarians. Comparing vegetarians with meat eaters among the 47,254 participants who had no prevalent cardiovascular disease or malignant cancer at recruitment, the death rate ratios adjusted for age, sex, smoking, and alcohol consumption were 0.81 (95% CI: 0.57, 1.16) for ischemic heart disease and 1.03 (95% CI: 0.90, 1.16) for all causes of death.

CONCLUSIONS:

The mortality of both the vegetarians and the nonvegetarians in this study is low compared with national rates. Within the study, mortality from circulatory diseases and all causes is not significantly different between vegetarians and meat eaters, but the study is not large enough to exclude small or moderate differences for specific causes of death, and more research on this topic is required.

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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19279082

Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1620S-1626S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.26736M. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

Cancer incidence in vegetarians: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Oxford).

Key TJ, Appleby PN, Spencer EA, Travis RC, Roddam AW, Allen NE.

Source

Cancer Epidemiology Unit, Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom. tim.key@ceu.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few prospective studies have examined cancer incidence among vegetarians.

OBJECTIVE:

We report cancer incidence among vegetarians and nonvegetarians in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Oxford (EPIC-Oxford) study.

DESIGN:

This was a prospective study of 63,550 men and women recruited throughout the United Kingdom in the 1990s. Cancer incidence was followed through nationwide cancer registries.

RESULTS:

The standardized incidence ratio for all malignant neoplasms for all participants was 72% (95% CI: 69%, 75%). The standardized incidence ratios for colorectal cancer were 84% (95% CI: 73%, 95%) among nonvegetarians and 102% (95% CI: 80%, 129%) among vegetarians. In a comparison of vegetarians with meat eaters and after adjustment for age, sex, and smoking, the incidence rate ratio for all malignant neoplasms was 0.89 (95% CI: 0.80, 1.00). The incidence rate ratio for colorectal cancer in vegetarians compared with meat eaters was 1.39 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.91).

CONCLUSIONS:

The overall cancer incidence rates of both the vegetarians and the nonvegetarians in this study are low compared with national rates. Within the study, the incidence of all cancers combined was lower among vegetarians than among meat eaters, but the incidence of colorectal cancer was higher in vegetarians than in meat eaters

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In the interest of fairness, here is another recent analysis of the above mentioned EPIC-Oxford study. Very interesting that researches reanalyzed the data and “combined endpoints” (which really breaks down the validity of research statistics) to find a difference in hospitalization vegetarians. See this detailed study review by Anthony Colpo that points out when they did this the BASELINE characteristics of the groups turned out to be different. The supposed healthy eater group was also 8 years younger, had less diabetes and hypertension, weighed slightly less, exercised slightly more, and were more likely to be smokers. Gee, you think these factors might ALSO affect the chance someone is hospitalized? The first rule of a good study is that the two groups being compared are equal at baseline. And anyway, it doesn’t change the original conclusions above.

Sometimes it seems impossible to eliminate all the confounding variables…with all of these studies it’s important to realize that “vegetarians” are generally more health conscious than “meat eaters” in all aspects of life…our key is to be “health conscious meat eaters“:

 

Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Mar;97(3):597-603

Risk of hospitalization or death from ischemic heart disease among British vegetarians and nonvegetarians: results from the EPIC-Oxford cohort study.

Crowe FL, Appleby PN, Travis RC, Key TJ.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few previous prospective studies have examined differences in incident ischemic heart disease (IHD) risk between vegetarians and nonvegetarians.

OBJECTIVE:

The objective was to examine the association of a vegetarian diet with risk of incident (nonfatal and fatal) IHD.

DESIGN:

A total of 44,561 men and women living in England and Scotland who were enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Oxford study, of whom 34% consumed a vegetarian diet at baseline, were part of the analysis. Incident cases of IHD were identified through linkage with hospital records and death certificates. Serum lipids and blood pressure measurements were available for 1519 non cases, who were matched to IHD cases by sex and age. IHD risk by vegetarian status was estimated by using multivariate Cox proportional hazards models.

RESULTS:

After an average follow-up of 11.6 y, there were 1235 IHD cases (1066 hospital admissions and 169 deaths). Compared with nonvegetarians, vegetarians had a lower mean BMI [in kg/m(2); -1.2 (95% CI: -1.3, -1.1)], non-HDL-cholesterol concentration [-0.45 (95% CI: -0.60, -0.30) mmol/L], and systolic blood pressure [-3.3 (95% CI: -5.9, -0.7) mm Hg]. Vegetarians had a 32% lower risk (HR: 0.68; 95% CI: 0.58, 0.81) of IHD than did nonvegetarians, which was only slightly attenuated after adjustment for BMI and did not differ materially by sex, age, BMI, smoking, or the presence of IHD risk factors.

CONCLUSION:

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.

 

vegan

 

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