Study title and authors:
Vascular Dysfunction in Chinese Vegetarians: An Apparent Paradox?
Timothy Kwok, MD, Ping Chook, MD, Lucia Tam, MPh, Mu Qiao, PhD, Jean L.F. Woo, MD, David S. Celermajer, PhD and Kam S. Woo, MD, FACC*
* Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
This study can be accessed at: http://content.onlinejacc.org/cgi/content/full/46/10/1957
(i) Carotid intima-media thickness (a measurment of the combined thicknesses of the intimal and medial layers of the carotid artery walls - so the greater the carotid intima-media thickness, the greater the risk of heart disease).
(ii) Flow-mediated dilation of brachial artery (a measurement of blood flow in the brachial artery - the less the flow the greater the risk of heart disease).
(iii) Vitamin B12 levels.
(iv) Homocysteine levels.
(v) Blood pressure.
The study found:
(a) Vegetarians had significantly greater carotid intima-media thickness than omnivores.
(b) Vegetarians had less flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery than omnivores.
(c) Vegetarians had lower vitamin B12 levels than omnivores.
(d) Vegetarians had higher homocysteine levels than omnivores.
(e) Vegetarians had higher blood pressure than omnivores.
(f) Vegetarians ate less protein, less saturated fat and less cholesterol than omnivores.
To conclude: Vegetarians have a higher risk of heart disease compared to omnivores.