The incidence of Ischemic heart disease and stroke depends significantly on a diet. This study aims to examine the associations of meat, fish, and a vegetarian diet with the risk of ischemic heart disease or stroke.
This is a prospective cohort study that included a total of 48,188 participants with no history of ischemic heart disease, stroke, or any other cardiovascular disease (CVD). The participants were randomly classified into three diet groups: meat-eaters (n=24,428), fish-eaters (n=7,506), and vegetarians (n=16,254). The primary outcome of the study was the incidence of ischemic heart disease or stroke.
Over 18.1 years of follow up, a total of 2,820 cases of ischemic heart disease and 1,072 cases of stroke were reported. It was found that fish-eaters and vegetarians had 13% lower rates of ischemic heart disease or stroke when compared to meat-eaters. The cardiovascular complications were primarily associated with high blood cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high body max index. However, vegetarians, in particular, had a higher rate of hemorrhagic stroke.
The research concluded that fish-eaters and vegetarians had a lower risk of ischemic heart disease or stroke than meat-eaters. However, vegetarians were at an overall higher rate of hemorrhagic and total stroke.