Title

Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors Profile among Australian Vegetarian and Nonvegetarian Teenagers

Author Faculty (Discipline)

Education

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2019

Journal

American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine

ISSN

1559-8284

ANZSRC / FoR Code

110201 Cardiology (incl. Cardiovascular Diseases)| 111199 Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified| 111706 Epidemiology| 111716 Preventive Medicine

Avondale Research Centre

Lifestyle and Health Research Centre

Reportable Items (HERDC/ERA)

C1

Abstract

Atherosclerosis develops over a long period of time and often begins in childhood. The goal of this study was to make a cross-sectional assessment of the pattern of cardiovascular disease risk factors among Australian vegetarian (n = 49) and nonvegetarian (n = 639) 14- to 17-year-old participants from New South Wales, Australia. Vegetarians had statistically significant lower mean total (4.05 vs 4.4 mmol/L;P < .001) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (2.18 vs 2.55 mmol/L; P < .001) and lower incidence of abnormal total and LDL cholesterol (31.1% vs 46.2%, P = .036, having total cholesterol ≥4.4 mmol/L and 13.3% vs 29.6%, P = .021, having LDL cholesterol ≥2.84 mmol/L). Vegetarians had a higher diastolic BP (72.0 vs 69.7 mm Hg; P = .038). No statistically significant difference was found in other risk factors including high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = .83), triglycerides (P = .601), systolic blood pressure (P = .727), body mass index (P = .159), plasma glucose (P = .09), C-reactive protein (P = .527), or homocysteine (P = .45). The prevalence rate with 3 or more risk factors was 12.2% among vegetarians and 13.9% among nonvegetarians (P = .156). The high percentage of abnormal total cholesterol in both diet groups and, in addition, LDL cholesterol in nonvegetarians is a cause of concern and underlines the need for lifestyle change.

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