(CTN News) – It has been found that men who follow a vegetarian diet have a 50 per cent increased likelihood of breaking a hip than their meat-eating counterparts, according to the latest study.
In the past, it has been known that women who adopt a meat-free diet are at risk of frailty problems, but this link has yet to be established in men as well.
As a result of an analysis of data from the UK Biobank of more than 400,000 people, a study conducted at the University of Leeds discovered that fewer than one in 100 of the middle-aged participants suffered from hip fractures.
However, despite the fact that the absolute risk was low, the study results revealed a substantial discrepancy between meat eaters and vegetarians.
The data indicate that vegetarians are not more likely to suffer breaks than pescetarians and occasional meat eaters – less than five days a week.
According to James Webster, a doctoral researcher at the University of Leeds who led the study, hip fractures are a significant problem in an ageing society. They can lead to debilitating health conditions as well as a decline in quality of life.
The study indicates that vegetarians have a greater risk of hip fracture than meat-eaters – by 50% – but this is equivalent to only three more hip fractures per 1,000 people over a ten-year period.”
Benefits may still outweigh risks
It was found that vegetarian men and women are at greater risk of heart disease in part because they have a lower body mass index.
Despite the small increase in risk caused by eating a plant-based diet, Mr Webster added that vegetarianism could still provide a net benefit.
There may still be health benefits associated with a largely vegetarian diet, including a lower risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
In our study, we found that vegetarians should ensure they consume a balanced diet with adequate protein and maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). As a result, vegetarians will be able to maintain healthy bones and muscles.”
According to Professor Janet Cade, head of the Nutritional Epidemiology Group at the University of Leeds, “Hip fractures are a major health concern, and diet may play a role in altering the risk of fractures.”.
We have found that diets increase the risk of hip fracture, in both men and women, compared to meat eaters who consume regular amounts of meat.
“The vegetarian diet has health benefits, but understanding diet quality and the balance of key nutrients may help to reduce risk and improve future bone health.”
BMC Medicine published the study.