Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and Cardiovascular Disease

Prog Cardiovasc Dis. May-Jun 2018;61(1):54-61. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2018.05.002. Epub 2018 May 22.

Abstract

Cardiovascular (CV) disease (CVD) is the leading global cause of mortality, being responsible for 46% of non-communicable disease deaths. It has been estimated that about 85.6 million Americans are living with some form of CVD, which continues to rise. Healthy lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of myocardial infarction by >80%, with nutrition playing a key role. Vegetarian dietary patterns reduce CVD mortality and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) by 40%. Plant-based diets are the only dietary pattern to have shown reversal of CHD. Additionally, evidence suggests benefits of vegetarian dietary patterns in both the prevention and the treatment of heart failure and cerebrovascular disease. Plant-based diets are associated with lower blood pressure, lower blood lipids, and reduced platelet aggregation than non-vegetarian diets and are beneficial in weight management, reduce the risk of developing metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. They have also been shown an effective treatment method in diabetes management. Well planned vegetarian diets provide benefits in preventing and reversing atherosclerosis and in decreasing CVD risk factors and should be promoted through dietary guidelines and recommendations.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Vegetarian dietary patterns.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Diet, Healthy*
  • Diet, Vegetarian*
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status
  • Nutritive Value
  • Prognosis
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*