Press Statement from the Vegetarian Society
Reduced heart disease risk for vegetarians
31 January 2013
The largest study ever conducted in the UK comparing rates of heart disease between vegetarians and non-vegetarians has found that vegetarianism can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to a third.
The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Oxford study reported yesterday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that the risk of hospitalisation or death from heart disease is 32% lower in vegetarians than in people who eat meat and fish.
The study is based on the real health outcomes of 45,000 volunteers, of whom 34% were vegetarian. Volunteers were tracked for over twenty years and the 32% reduction associated with being a vegetarian was calculated after accounting for factors such as age, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity, educational level and socioeconomic background.
Liz O’Neill from the Vegetarian Society finds it hard to understand why organisations promoting heart health are not taking this message more seriously. “Health studies stretching back a generation have shown positive outcomes for vegetarians, and now we have a specific figure on the level at which avoiding meat reduces your risk of heart disease.
“This isn’t a theoretical notion; it’s an epidemiological study that compares real outcomes from different groups of real people. We already know that vegetarians have lower rates of obesity, diabetes and many cancers but this study clearly shows that being vegetarian is, regardless of other factors, simply better for your heart. If you are not a smoker, then eating meat may be one of the biggest risk factors in your lifestyle, whereas a balanced vegetarian diet is delicious, nutritious and sustainable. With Valentine’s Day approaching, it’s time to do the right thing for your heart and go veggie.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
• For more press information please contact Su or Liz on 0161 925 2012/2013 email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org mobile 07973 108 165/7. You can also find lots of information on all aspects of the Vegetarian Society and vegetarianism in general online at www.vegsoc.org/press.
• A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, or the by-products of slaughter.
• The Vegetarian Society is an educational charity founded in 1847. It is the oldest vegetarian organisation in the world