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Old 29-12-2004, 09:23 PM
J.C. Scott
Posts: n/a

usual suspect wrote:
Here's something else worth considering. It's from a study of 11,000
vegetarians and other health conscious people.

This study was initially set up to test the hypotheses that
daily consumption of wholemeal bread (as an indicator of a high
fibre diet) and vegetarian diet are associated with a reduction
in mortality from ischaemic heart disease; the reduction in
mortality associated with both of these dietary factors was *NOT

We found that a vegetarian diet was associated with a 15%
reduction in mortality from ischaemic heart disease. This was
*NOT SIGNIFICANT* and was LESS THAN the roughly 30% reductions
REPORTED IN EARLIER ANALYSES of this cohort.... A vegetarian
diet was also associated with a *SIGNIFICANT INCREASE* in
mortality from breast cancer. However, the confidence interval
was wide.... The numbers of deaths for individual cancer sites
were small and the mortality ratios have wide confidence
intervals. The 41% reduction in mortality from lung cancer
associated with daily consumption of fresh fruit was *NOT

The emphases in that are from points I was making to a bonehead who

that particular study to suggest that the study found important and
significant correlations between vegetarianism and good health. As

can see, the benefits were statistically *not* significant, and there

was actually an increase in the number of mortalities from breast

among vegetarians.


--The Oxford Vegetarian Study: an overview 1,2,3

"From the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Cancer Epidemiology Unit,
Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, United Kingdom; the Department of Public
Health and Policy, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; and
the Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago, Dunedin, New

"The Oxford Vegetarian Study is a prospective study of 6000 vegetarians
and 5000 nonvegetarian control subjects recruited in the United Kingdom
between 1980 and 1984. Cross-sectional analyses of study data showed
that vegans had lower total- and LDL-cholesterol concentrations than
did meat eaters; vegetarians and fish eaters had intermediate and
similar values. Meat and cheese consumption were positively associated,
and dietary fiber intake was inversely associated, with
total-cholesterol concentration in both men and women. After 12 y of
follow-up, all-cause mortality in the whole cohort was roughly half
that in the population of England and Wales (standardized mortality
ratio, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.42, 0.51). After adjusting for smoking, body
mass index, and social class, death rates were lower in non-meat-eaters
than in meat eaters for each of the mortality endpoints studied
[relative risks and 95% CIs: 0.80 (0.65, 0.99) for all causes of death,
0.72 (0.47, 1.10) for ischemic heart disease, and 0.61 (0.44, 0.84) for
all malignant neoplasms]. Mortality from ischemic heart disease was
also positively associated with estimated intakes of total animal fat,
saturated animal fat, and dietary cholesterol. Other analyses showed
that non-meat-eaters had only half the risk of meat eaters of requiring
an emergency appendectomy, and that vegans in Britain may be at risk
for iodine deficiency. Thus, the health of vegetarians in this study is
generally good and compares favorably with that of the nonvegetarian
control subjects. Larger studies are needed to examine rates of
specific cancers and other diseases among vegetarians."

You may also wish to look at the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition's Full Text article toward the bottom of that page entitled,
"Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans?"

"Results: Our review of the 6 studies found the following trends: 1) a
very low meat intake was associated with a significant decrease in risk
of death in 4 studies, a nonsignificant decrease in risk of death in
the fifth study, and virtually no association in the sixth study; 2) 2
of the studies in which a low meat intake significantly decreased
mortality risk also indicated that a longer duration ( 2 decades) of
adherence to this diet contributed to a significant decrease in
mortality risk and a significant 3.6-y (95% CI: 1.4, 5.8 y) increase in
life expectancy; and 3) the protective effect of a very low meat intake
seems to attenuate after the ninth decade. Some of the variation in the
survival advantage in vegetarians may have been due to marked
differences between studies in adjustment for confounders, the
definition of vegetarian, measurement error, age distribution, the
healthy volunteer effect, and intake of specific plant foods by the

"Conclusion: Current prospective cohort data from adults in North
America and Europe raise the possibility that a lifestyle pattern that
includes a very low meat intake is associated with greater longevity."