The influence of a vegetarian diet on haemostatic risk factors for cardiovascular disease in Africans.Thromb Res 1999; 95(1):31-6TR
Dietary habits have been implicated in the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. Elevated plasma fibrinogen levels and decreased fibrinolytic activity have been identified as major independent cardiovascular risk factors. In this study, we compared the blood pressure, plasma fibrinogen concentration, and fibrinolytic activity of 40 nonvegetarians (NON-VEGs) with 36 vegetarians (8 VEGs and 28 SEMI-VEGs). The latter group consisted of students and lecturers of the Adventist Seminary Institute of West Africa, Ilishan Remo. All subjects had blood pressures below 140/90 mmHg, no underlying haemostatic disorders and were not on any medical treatment. The NON-VEGs had significantly decreased fibrinolytic activity (p<0.001) and increased plasma fibrinogen levels (p<0.001) compared with the SEMI-VEGs and VEGs. There were no significant differences between the blood pressure levels of the three groups, although the NON-VEGs had lower diastolic blood pressures. It is concluded that black African Seventh-Day Adventists who follow a vegetarian diet may be protected against premature cardiovascular disease because of beneficial dietary effects on plasma fibrinogen levels and fibrinolytic activity.