Heart Health and the Vegan Diet

According to the Texas Heart Institute, heart failure is something that happens gradually. It is possible to go years without experiencing a symptom. That’s why it is so important to understand and mitigate your risk factors. ReactDx, Holter patch innovators, take a look at a new study that compares a vegan diet with other popular diets and how they affect a person’s heart health.

The Study

The New York Post reported on a study conducted by Dr. Kyla Lara that included a total of 15,559 participants. The participants were separated into one of five groups based on their diet; a group who consumed red meats, one who ate plant-based foods, and one that indulged in sweets and alcohol. Over the course of four years, each of the participants were required to keep track of the foods they consumed using a food-frequency questionnaire.

Reason for the Study

After noticing a pattern among previously conducted studies, Dr. Lara wanted to confirm that food has an impact on heart health. Specifically, other studies suggested that certain diets led to the narrowing of the arteries, which can then lead to heart failure or stroke. A diet that does not cause arteries to narrow would greatly help those who are at risk of heart disease.

Interpreting the Data

When determining the risk for heart disease among the participants, Dr. Lara used the data that had been collected for another study called “Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke.” Dr. Lara then examined the results of the study and found that only the group that stuck to the plant-based diet saw a 42 percent decrease in incidences of heart failure. There were no benefits found in following any of the other four diets.Dr. Lara presented her findings at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions Conference in Anaheim, California. If you think you may be at risk for heart disease, contact your doctor to discuss your risks and whether it would be beneficial to start following a plant-based diet. Your cardiologist may suggest you wear a Holter patch, one of ReactDx’s tools for monitoring heart health. Call 800-234-3278 to learn more about this device, or visit our News Page to read up on the latest findings.  

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