TitleVegetarian diets and risk of all-cause mortality in a population-based prospective study in the United States.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsBlackie K, Bobe G, Takata Y
JournalJ Health Popul Nutr
Date Published2023 Nov 23
KeywordsAnimals, Cohort Studies, Diet, Diet, Vegetarian, Humans, Male, Meat, Prospective Studies, United States

The popularity of vegetarian diets has increased the need for studies on long-term health outcomes. A limited number of studies, including only one study from a non-vegetarian population, investigated the risk of mortality with self-identified vegetarianism and reported inconsistent results. This study evaluated prospective associations between vegetarian diets and all-cause mortality among 117,673 participants from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial cohort study. Vegetarian diet status was self-identified on the questionnaire. Deaths were ascertained from follow-up questionnaires and the National Death Index database. Multivariable Cox regression models were used to estimate the risk of all-cause mortality in hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). By diet group, there were 116,894 omnivores (whose diet does not exclude animal products), 329 lacto- and/or ovo-vegetarians (whose diet excludes meat, but includes dairy and/or eggs), 310 pesco-vegetarians (whose diet excludes meat except for fish and seafood) and 140 vegans (whose diet excludes all animal products). After an average follow-up of 18 years, 39,763 participants were deceased. The risk of all-cause mortality did not statistically significantly differ among the four diet groups. Comparing with the omnivore group, the HR (95% CI) were 0.81 (0.64-1.03) for pesco-vegetarian group, 0.99 (0.80-1.22) for lacto- and/or ovo-vegetarian group and 1.27 (0.99-1.63) for vegan group, respectively. Similarly, mortality risk did not differ when comparing lacto- and/or ovo-vegetarians plus vegans with meat/fish eaters (omnivores and pesco-vegetarians) (HR [95% CI] = 1.09 [0.93-1.28]). As this study is one of the two studies of vegetarianism and mortality in non-vegetarian populations, further investigation is warranted.

Alternate JournalJ Health Popul Nutr
PubMed ID37996932
PubMed Central IDPMC10666432