Vegetarian diet linked to lower stroke risk

Research we're watching

Published: June, 2020

Eating a vegetarian diet may lower your risk of stroke, according to a study in the March 17 issue of Neurology.

The study included two groups of people from Buddhist communities in Taiwan, where vegetarian diets are encouraged. About 30% of the more than 130,000 participants were vegetarian, meaning they didn't eat any meat or fish. Their average age was 50, and none had a prior stroke.

During the follow-up, which lasted between six and nine years, the vegetarians had only about half the risk of experiencing a stroke as the non-vegetarians. That was true even after researchers adjusted for known risk factors such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and diabetes.

The finding adds further support to research showing that plant-based diets help protect against all types of cardiovascular disease.

Image: © YelenaYemchuk/Getty Images

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.