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The relationship of blood pressure to diet and lifestyle in two religious populations

Study shows hypertension prevalance almost 5x higher in non-vegetarians compared to vegetarians.

The association between blood pressure and a vegetarian diet was studied in relation to obesity, sex, age and lifestyle in 98 Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) lacto-ovo vegetarians, 82 SDA omnivores and 113 Mormon omnivores aged 25 to 44 years. Mormons and 7th day Adventists were chosen as these are religious groups that avoids tobacco, alcohol and caffeine, thus eliminating other key sources of blood pressure from the analysis.
The prevalence of mild hypertension (140 mmHg systolic and above / 90mmHg diastolic and above) was 8.5-10% amongst omnivores compared with 1-2% in vegetarians. Analysis of diet records showed that vegetarians ate significantly more dietary fibre, polyunsaturated fat, magnesium and potassium and significantly less total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol than did omnivores