Health & FitVegetarians have higher risk for stroke, lower heart disease risk
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(Reuters Health) - People who follow vegetarian or vegan diets may have lower odds for heart disease but higher chances of having a stroke, compared to meat eaters, a large UK study suggests.
Researchers followed 48,188 middle-aged adults without any history of heart attacks or strokes for about 18 years. During this time, 2,820 people developed coronary artery disease that can lead to heart attacks; 519 people had ischemic strokes, the most common kind, which occur when a clot blocks an artery carrying blood to the brain; and 300 people had hemorrhagic strokes, which are caused by a ruptured blood vessel in the brain.
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Vegetarians - including vegans, who avoid eggs and dairy - were 22% less likely to develop coronary artery disease than meat eaters. This is the equivalent of 10 fewer cases of artery disease per 1,000 people over a decade among vegetarians compared to meat eaters, researchers calculated.
However, vegetarians and vegans were 20 percent more likely than others to have a stroke - particularly a hemorrhagic stroke. This translates over 10 years to roughly three more strokes per 1,000 people in vegetarians than in meat eaters.
"Both fish eaters and vegetarians had on average lower BMI, and lower rates of high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes compared with meat eaters, which might explain the lower risk of heart disease in both fish eaters and vegetarians since these are all established risk factors for heart disease," said study leader Tammy Tong, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Oxford in the UK.
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"The reason for higher risk of stroke in vegetarians is less clear, but some recent evidence has suggested that while low cholesterol levels (are) protective against both heart disease and ischemic stroke, very low cholesterol levels might be linked to a higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke, the subtype that was found to be higher in the vegetarians," Tong said by email.
The elevated stroke risk among vegetarians and vegans was due to 43% increased odds of a hemorrhagic stroke; there was no meaningful difference in ischemic stroke rates between this group and meat eaters.
There also was no meaningful difference in risk of heart attacks based on eating habits, researchers report in The BMJ.
Researchers assessed eating habits with questionnaires at the start of the study. Some participants completed questionnaires again an average of 14 years later.
People who ate meat - regardless of whether they also ate fish, dairy, or eggs - were classified as meat eaters. Their ranks totaled 24,428 at the start of the study and 96% remained meat eaters based on the follow-up dietary questionnaires.
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Another 7,506 people ate fish, but no meat at the start of the study, and 57% of these participants who completed the second dietary questionnaires remained fish eaters.
An additional 16,254 people started out as vegetarians or vegans, eating no meat or fish, and 73% still abstained based on the follow-up dietary questionnaires.
"Dietary guidelines recommend increasing our intake of whole nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables and reducing intake of ultra-processed foods and beverages," said Mark Lawrence, a public health and nutrition researcher at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, who co-authored an editorial accompanying the study.
"Increasingly, national dietary guidelines around the world are recognizing plant-based diets for their environmental sustainability as well as health benefits," Lawrence said by email. "Though, shifting towards plant-based dietary patterns for reasons of personal or planetary health does not necessarily mean becoming a vegetarian."
SOURCE: https://bit.ly/2kqZjnN and https://bit.ly/2m2N7K7 The BMJ, online September 4, 2019.
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Infarction: stopping a cholesterol treatment would be risky
According to a new study, to stop its cholesterol treatment, passed 75 years, would be linked to an increase in the risks of cholesterol heart disease.
Do you know statins ? These drugs, prescribed to millions of people around the world, have the effect of lowering LDL-cholesterol . This lipoprotein nicknamed " bad cholesterol " transports cholesterol from the liver to all cells of the body. But it happens that some of these lipoproteins deposit cholesterol on walls of the arteries, which has the effect of butcher. Fatty plaques, atheroma plaques, may then form and disrupt blood circulation . The risk of cardiovascular problems (infarction, stroke ...) increases .Intense debates on
statins These anti-cholesterol drugs have always been the subject of intense debate. This time, it is a study conducted by scientists from the University Hospital Pitié-Salpêtrière in Paris that raises the issue of side effects of statins.
According to them, past the age of 75, stopping a cholesterol-lowering treatment would be linked to an increase risk of heart disease .
The researchers studied the health outcomes of 120 000 people in France aged 75 years old between 2012 and 2014 . They found that people who stopped statins were more likely to suffer a heart attack or cardiac arrest but also more likely to be victims of an stroke (1).These results are of particular concern; even more so when one knows that in
UK , statins are among the most prescribed drugs by the National Health Service, the English public health system. About 170 000 people die in this country every year from cardiac problems.The new
study of scientists at Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital does not prove that stopping cholesterol treatments leads to poor cardiovascular health. It simply highlights an link between stopping statins and an increased risk of heart problems.Their investigation is in addition to the many previous
foreign studies demonstrating that the risk of death of patients in poor health was much higher when they stopped their cholesterol treatment. Side effects ofcholesterol treatments Some patients decide to stop their treatment because of the many side effects of taking statins. For many years, the
effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs have been closely monitored. Among the most common are muscular disorders, headaches, skin allergies, edema, digestive disorders, vertigo , insomnia or problems memory . And the list does not stop there.Some
doctors therefore recommend prescribing statins with the greatest attention . According to them, for people with no particular antecedent, their prescription is not justified when cardiovascular risk is low. In 2013 , two studies had challenged the utility of extending the prescription of these drugs, to people with low cardiovascular risk. They had been published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).However, for those with
diabetes or with a history of cerebrovascular accident , the usefulness of statins is not questioned. The latter have proved their effectiveness in reducing myocardial infarction in particular.Read more
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Study: Vegetarians Have Higher Stroke Risk, Lower Heart Disease Risk
A new study shows that they are at a lower risk for heart disease than meat-eaters, but they are at a higher risk of stroke.
Study says vegetarian diet linked to higher risk of stroke than those who eat meat
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - There is new research that might have you thinking twice about switching to a veggie burger. This new study in the British Medical ...