Skip to main content
×
Home

Vegetarian diets and blood pressure among white subjects: results from the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2)

  • Betty J Pettersen (a1), Ramtin Anousheh (a1), Jing Fan (a1), Karen Jaceldo-Siegl (a2) and Gary E Fraser (a1)...
Abstract
Abstract Objective

Previous work studying vegetarians has often found that they have lower blood pressure (BP). Reasons may include their lower BMI and higher intake levels of fruit and vegetables. Here we seek to extend this evidence in a geographically diverse population containing vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians and omnivores.

Design

Data are analysed from a calibration sub-study of the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) cohort who attended clinics and provided validated FFQ. Criteria were established for vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, partial vegetarian and omnivorous dietary patterns.

Setting

Clinics were conducted at churches across the USA and Canada. Dietary data were gathered by mailed questionnaire.

Subjects

Five hundred white subjects representing the AHS-2 cohort.

Results

Covariate-adjusted regression analyses demonstrated that the vegan vegetarians had lower systolic and diastolic BP (mmHg) than omnivorous Adventists (β = −6·8, P < 0·05 and β = −6·9, P < 0·001). Findings for lacto-ovo vegetarians (β = −9·1, P < 0·001 and β = −5·8, P < 0·001) were similar. The vegetarians (mainly the vegans) were also less likely to be using antihypertensive medications. Defining hypertension as systolic BP > 139 mmHg or diastolic BP > 89 mmHg or use of antihypertensive medications, the odds ratio of hypertension compared with omnivores was 0·37 (95 % CI 0·19, 0·74), 0·57 (95 % CI 0·36, 0·92) and 0·92 (95 % CI 0·50, 1·70), respectively, for vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians and partial vegetarians. Effects were reduced after adjustment for BMI.

Conclusions

We conclude from this relatively large study that vegetarians, especially vegans, with otherwise diverse characteristics but stable diets, do have lower systolic and diastolic BP and less hypertension than omnivores. This is only partly due to their lower body mass.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Vegetarian diets and blood pressure among white subjects: results from the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2)
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Vegetarian diets and blood pressure among white subjects: results from the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2)
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Vegetarian diets and blood pressure among white subjects: results from the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2)
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
*Corresponding author: Email gfraser@llu.edu
References
Hide All
1. World Health Organization (2002) The World Health Report 2002: Reducing Risks, Promoting Healthy Life. Geneva: WHO.
2. National Center for Health Statistics (2010) Health, United States, 2009: With Special Feature on Medical Technology. Hyattsville, MD: NCHS.
3. Schoenborn CA & Heyman KM (2009) Health characteristics of adults aged 55 years and over: United States, 2004–2007. Natl Health Stat Report issue 16, 131.
4. Terry DF, Pencina MJ, Vasan RS et al. (2005) Cardiovascular risk factors predictive for survival and morbidity-free survival in the oldest-old Framingham Heart Study participants. J Am Geriatr Soc 53, 19441950.
5. Suter PM, Sierro C & Vetter W (2002) Nutritional factors in the control of blood pressure and hypertension. Nutr Clin Care 5, 919.
6. Berkow SE & Barnard ND (2005) Blood pressure regulation and vegetarian diets. Nutr Rev 63, 18.
7. Nowson CA, Wattanapenpaiboon N & Pachett A (2009) Low-sodium Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension-type diet including lean red meat lowers blood pressure in postmenopausal women. Nutr Res 29, 818.
8. Hodgson JM, Burke V, Beilin LJ et al. (2006) Partial substitution of carbohydrate intake with protein intake from lean red meat lowers blood pressure in hypertensive persons. Am J Clin Nutr 83, 780787.
9. Sacks FM, Donner A, Castelli WP et al. (1981) Effect of ingestion of meat on plasma cholesterol of vegetarians. JAMA 246, 640644.
10. Iacono JM, Judd JT, Marshall MW et al. (1981) The role of dietary essential fatty acids and prostaglandins in reducing blood pressure. Prog Lipid Res 20, 349364.
11. Iacono JM, Puska P, Dougherty RM et al. (1983) Effect of dietary fat on blood pressure in a rural Finnish population. Am J Clin Nutr 38, 860869.
12. Margetts BM, Beilin LJ, Armstrong BK et al. (1984) Dietary fats and blood pressure. Aust N Z J Med 14, 444447.
13. Margetts BM, Beilin LJ, Armstrong BK et al. (1988) Vegetarian diet in mild hypertension: effects of fat and fiber. Am J Clin Nutr 48, 801805.
14. Puska P, Iacono JM, Nissinen A et al. (1985) Dietary fat and blood pressure: an intervention study on the effects of a low-fat diet with two levels of polyunsaturated fat. Prev Med 14, 573584.
15. Sacks FM, Marais GE, Handysides G et al. (1984) Lack of an effect of dietary saturated fat and cholesterol on blood pressure in normotensives. Hypertension 6, 193198.
16. Streppel MT, Arends LR, van ‘t Veer P et al. (2005) Dietary fiber and blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized placebo-controlled trials. Arch Intern Med 165, 150156.
17. Whelton SP, Hyre AD, Pedersen B et al. (2005) Effect of dietary fiber intake on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled clinical trials. J Hypertens 23, 475481.
18. Rouse IL, Beilin LJ, Mahoney DP et al. (1983) Vegetarian diet and blood pressure. Lancet 2, 742743.
19. Sciarrone SE, Strahan MT, Beilin LJ et al. (1993) Biochemical and neurohormonal responses to the introduction of a lacto-ovovegetarian diet. J Hypertens 11, 849860.
20. Margetts BM, Beilin LJ, Vandongen R et al. (1986) Vegetarian diet in mild hypertension: a randomised controlled trial. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 293, 14681471.
21. Rouse IL, Armstrong BK & Beilin LJ (1983) The relationship of blood pressure to diet and lifestyle in two religious populations. J Hypertens 1, 6571.
22. Armstrong B, Clarke H, Martin C et al. (1979) Urinary sodium and blood pressure in vegetarians. Am J Clin Nutr 32, 24722476.
23. Ophir O, Peer G, Gilad J et al. (1983) Low blood pressure in vegetarians: the possible role of potassium. Am J Clin Nutr 37, 755762.
24. Burr ML, Bates CJ, Fehily AM et al. (1981) Plasma cholesterol and blood pressure in vegetarians. J Hum Nutr 35, 437441.
25. Melby CL, Goldflies DG & Toohey ML (1993) Blood pressure differences in older black and white long-term vegetarians and nonvegetarians. J Am Coll Nutr 12, 262269.
26. Melby CL, Toohey ML & Cebrick J (1994) Blood pressure and blood lipids among vegetarian, semivegetarian, and nonvegetarian African Americans. Am J Clin Nutr 59, 103109.
27. Appleby PN, Davey GK & Key TJ (2002) Hypertension and blood pressure among meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans in EPIC–Oxford. Public Health Nutr 5, 645654.
28. Butler TL, Fraser GE, Beeson WL et al. (2008) Cohort profile: The Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2). Int J Epidemiol 37, 260265.
29. Chan J, Knutsen SF, Sabate J et al. (2007) Feasibility of running clinics to collect biological specimens in a nationwide cohort study – Adventist Health Study-2. Ann Epidemiol 17, 454457.
30. O'Brien E, Mee F, Atkins N et al. (1996) Evaluation of three devices for self-measurement of blood pressure according to the revised British Hypertension Society Protocol: the Omron HEM-705CP, Philips HP5332, and Nissei DS-175. Blood Press Monit 1, 5561.
31. Jaceldo-Siegl K, Knutsen SF, Sabate J et al. (2010) Validation of nutrient intake using an FFQ and repeated 24 h recalls in black and white subjects of the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2). Public Health Nutr 13, 812819.
32. Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fan J, Sabate J et al. (2011) Race-specific validation of food intake obtained from a comprehensive FFQ: the Adventist Health Study-2. Public Health Nutr 14, 19881997.
33. Fraser G & Yan R (2007) Guided multiple imputation of missing data: using a subsample to strengthen the missing-at-random assumption. Epidemiology 18, 246252.
34. R DCT (2010) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing, Version 2.11.1 (2010-05-31). Vienna: R Foundation for Statistical Computing.
35. Sallis JF, Haskell WL, Wood PD et al. (1985) Physical activity assessment methodology in the Five-City Project. Am J Epidemiol 121, 91106.
36. Tonstad S, Butler T, Yan R et al. (2009) Type of vegetarian diet, body weight, and prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care 32, 791796.
37. Haddad EH & Tanzman JS (2003) What do vegetarians in the United States eat? Am J Clin Nutr 78, 3 Suppl., 626S632S.
38. Larsson CL & Johansson GK (2002) Dietary intake and nutritional status of young vegans and omnivores in Sweden. Am J Clin Nutr 76, 100106.
39. Janelle KC & Barr SI (1995) Nutrient intakes and eating behavior scores of vegetarian and nonvegetarian women. J Am Diet Assoc 95, 180186.
40. Ruidavets JB, Bongard V, Simon C et al. (2006) Independent contribution of dairy products and calcium intake to blood pressure variations at a population level. J Hypertens 24, 671681.
41. McCarron DA & Reusser ME (1999) Finding consensus in the dietary calcium–blood pressure debate. J Am Coll Nutr 18, 5 Suppl., 398S405S.
42. McCarron DA & Reusser ME (2001) Are low intakes of calcium and potassium important causes of cardiovascular disease? Am J Hypertens 14, 6 Pt 2, 206S212S.
43. Ernst E, Pietsch L, Matrai A et al. (1986) Blood rheology in vegetarians. Br J Nutr 56, 555560.
44. Ostchega Y, Yoon SS, Hughes J et al. (2008) Hypertension awareness, treatment, and control – continued disparities in adults: United States, 2005–2006. NCHS Data Brief issue 3, 18.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
  • URL: /core/journals/public-health-nutrition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 95
Total number of PDF views: 387 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 1184 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd November 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.