Cardiovascular disease continues to be a leading cause of death worldwide. There are several contributing factors to the development of cardiovascular disease. However, a poor diet is one of the most highlighted and most discussed factors. Poor diet is a modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Nearly 10 million deaths from cardiovascular disease are attributed to a poor diet - 3.8 million attributed to a diet low in fruit and vegetables, 1.4 million to a diet low in seafood intake, and 150,000 attributed to high red and processed meat intake. Current dietary guidelines promote a lower intake of red and processed meat and a greater intake of fruits, vegetables, and fish.
Current clinical evidence suggests that vegetarian diets are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer than nonvegetarian diets. However, vegetarianism has not been extensively studied with other alternative diets.
A study was conducted to compare the incidence and mortality risk for cardiovascular diseases and ischaemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure among people with different types of diets. People with four types of diets were included in this analysis: vegetarians, fish eaters, fish and poultry eaters, and meat-eaters
Four hundred twenty-two thousand seven hundred ninety-one participants were included in the analysis. Of these, 55.4% were women. The researchers investigated associations between types of diets and health outcomes.
The analysis showed that meat-eaters were more likely to be obese than other diet groups. After the follow-up period, fish eaters were found to have lower risks of incident cardiovascular disease compared with meat-eaters. Vegetarians also had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease incidence compared to meat-eaters. However, the risk of adverse outcomes was not different in fish and poultry eaters compared with meat-eaters. No associations were identified between types of diets and cardiovascular disease mortality.
Eating fish rather than meat or poultry was associated with a lower risk of a range of adverse cardiovascular outcomes. Vegetarianism was only associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease incidence.
Source: European Heart Journal
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