The association of diet and thrombotic risk factors in healthy male vegetarians and meat-eaters

Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999 Aug;53(8):612-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1600817.


Objective: The aim of this study was to assess thrombosis tendency in subjects who were habitual meat-eaters compared with those who were habitual vegetarians.

Design: Cross-sectional comparison of habitual meat-eaters and habitual vegetarians.

Setting: Free living subjects.

Subjects: One hundred and thirty-nine healthy male subjects (vegans n = 18, ovolacto vegetarians n = 43, moderate-meat-eaters n = 60 and high-meat-eaters n = 18) aged 20-55 y who were recruited in Melbourne.

Outcome measures: Dietary intake was assessed using a semi-quantitative Food Frequency Questionnaire. The parameters of thrombosis were measured by standard methods.

Results: Saturated fat and cholesterol intakes were significantly higher and polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) was significantly lower in the meat-eaters compared with vegetarians. In the meat-eaters, the platelet phospholipids AA levels were significantly higher than in the vegetarians, but there was no increase in ex vivo platelet aggregation and plasma 11-dehydro thromboxane B2 levels. Vegetarians, especially the vegans, had a significantly increased mean collagen and ADP stimulated ex vivo whole blood platelet aggregation compared with meat-eaters. The vegan group had a significantly higher mean platelet volume than the other three dietary groups. However, meat-eaters had a significantly higher cluster of cardiovascular risk factors compared with vegetarians, including increased body mass index, waist to hip ratio, plasma total cholesterol (TC), triacylglycerol and LDL-C levels, ratio of TC/HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C and plasma factor VII activity.

Conclusions: Consumption of meat is not associated with an increased platelet aggregation compared with vegetarian subjects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Coagulation Factors / analysis
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Fatty Acids / blood
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins / blood
  • Male
  • Meat*
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Aggregation
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombosis / epidemiology*
  • Thromboxane B2 / analogs & derivatives
  • Thromboxane B2 / blood


  • Blood Coagulation Factors
  • Fatty Acids
  • Lipoproteins
  • Thromboxane B2
  • 11-dehydro-thromboxane B2