In May 2018 members of the USA published their overview of vegetarian diets. They stated that cardiovascular disease is globally the leading cause of death, being responsible for 46% of non-communicable disease deaths. It is currently thought that healthy lifestyle choices may reduce the risk of myocardial infarction by over 80%, with nutrition playing a key role. Vegetarian dietary patterns have been shown to reduce deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by 40%. In addition, a plant-based diet is the only dietary pattern identified so far that can reverse coronary heart disease, including atherosclerosis. Plant-based diets are also beneficial in both the prevention and treatment of heart failure and cerebrovascular disease. When compared to non-vegetarian diets, plant-based diets have been shown to reduce blood pressure and blood lipid levels, to be beneficial in weight management and to reduce the risk of both the metabolic syndrome and diabetes type 2. They have also been shown to be effective in the management of diabetes.
Kahleova H et al. Vegetarian Dietary Patterns and Cardiovascular Disease. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2018 May – Jun;61(1):54-61