- A plant-based diet offers benefits against cardiovascular (CV) disease (CVD), CV death, and all-cause mortality among middle-aged adults.
Why this matters
- This study used a community-based approach, with findings that are generalizable for middle-aged adults.
- Cohort from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, including 12,168 adults, followed 1987-2016.
- 4 diet classifications were used, based on gradations of plant-based food intake relative to animal-based food intake: plant‐based diet index (PDI), healthy PDI, unhealthy PDI, and provegetarian.
- Outcomes: CVD, CVD mortality, all-cause mortality.
- Funding: NIH, others.
- Highest unhealthy PDI quintile was linked to increased hypertension likelihood but reduced diabetes risk (P<.05 both>
- Across all models, vs lowest quintile for plant intake, highest quintile scores for PDI or provegetarian diets respectively linked to:
- 16% reduced CVD risk (both diets);
- 32% and 31% reduced CV mortality risk; and
- 25% and 18% reduced all-cause mortality risk (all P<.001>
- Unhealthy PDI scores showed no detectable pattern of association with any outcomes.
- Specific foods:
- Higher potato intake inversely associated with CVD, all-cause mortality;
- Dairy, fish, seafood showed no associations; and
- Eggs, red and processed meat were associated with increased risks for all 3 outcomes.
- Self-reported intake from decades ago.