Research from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, published in the journal BMC Medicinehas examined the risk of hip fracture in occasional meat consumers; Pescatarians, people who eat fish but do not eat meat; and vegetarians than regular meat eaters.
Among 26,318 women, 822 cases of hip fracture were observed over approximately 20 years, representing just over 3% of the sample population. After adjusting for factors such as smoking and age, Vegetarian was the only diet group with a higher risk of hip fracture, The risk of hip fracture is 33% higher than regular meat eaters.
This study is one of the few that compared the risk of hip fracture between vegetarians and meat eaters and in which the incidence of hip fracture was confirmed from hospital records.
Scientists emphasize the need for further investigation into the exact reasons why vegetarians are at increased risk of hip fractures.
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lead author of the study, James WebsterA PhD researcher from the Leeds School of Food Sciences and Nutrition, noted that the study “highlights potential concern regarding the risk of hip fracture in women following a vegetarian diet. However, It’s not about warning people to give up vegetarian food, As with any diet, it’s important to understand your individual circumstances and the nutrients needed for a healthy, balanced lifestyle.”
“Vegetarian diets can vary greatly from person to person and may or may not be healthy, just like diets that include animal products.” “However, it is concerning that vegetarian diets often have lower amounts of nutrients related to bone and muscle health. These types of nutrients are generally more abundant in meat and other animal products than in plants. such as protein, calcium and other micronutrients.
bone density and muscle mass
He adds, “A low intake of these nutrients can lead to decreased bone mineral density and muscle density, which can make the risk of hip fracture more vulnerable.” “This makes it particularly important to continue research to better understand the factors that increase risk in vegetarians, either due to specific nutritional deficiencies or due to weight control, so that we can help people make healthier choices. be able to help.”
Vegetarian diets have increased in popularity in recent years, with a 2021 YouGov survey putting the size of the UK vegetarian population at around 5-7%. Often regarded as a healthy dietary choicePrevious evidence suggests that a vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, compared to an omnivorous diet.
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There is also a global call to reduce consumption of animal products in an effort to combat climate change. Therefore, understanding the risk of hip fracture in vegetarians is important for public health.
study co-author, professor janet cadThe leader of the Nutrition Epidemiology Group at the Leeds School of Food Sciences and Nutrition explains that “Hip fractures are a global health problem with high economic costs that lead to loss of independence, reduced quality of life and other health problems.” Increases the risk of problems.
,Plant-based diets linked to poor bone health, but evidence on the link to hip fracture risk has been lacking. This study is an important step in understanding the potential risks that plant-based diets may pose over the long term and what can be done to reduce those risks.”
BMI and fracture risk
The team used data from the UK Women’s Cohort Study to investigate a possible relationship between diet and hip fracture risk. This national group of middle-aged women was created at the University of Leeds to explore the relationship between diet and chronic disease, covering a wide range of different dietary patterns. Dietary information was collected using a food frequency questionnaire and validated using a 4-day food diary in a cohort of women. At the time of being recruited for the cohort study, the women were between 35 and 69 years old.
The research team found that Vegetarians had a slightly lower average BMI than regular meat eaters, Previous research has shown an association between a low BMI and a higher risk of hip fracture.
A low BMI can indicate that people are underweight, which can mean poor bone and muscle health and an increased risk of hip fractures. Further research is needed to determine whether the low BMI is the cause of the higher risk seen in vegetarians.
Study co-author Dr. Darren GreenwoodA biostatistician at Leeds Medical School stressed that the study is “only part of the big picture of diet and healthy bones and muscles in old age.”
They concluded, “Further research is needed to confirm that similar results may occur in men, to explore the role of body weight, and to identify the reasons for the different results in vegetarians and meat eaters.” For.”