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Vegetarian Women May Have Higher Risk of Hip Fracture Than Meat Eaters

A vegetarian diet is plant-based and can often be lacking in nutrients including vitamin B-12, calcium, vitamin D, omega-3’s, and iron. A new study suggests that women who follow a vegetarian diet may have up to a 33% higher risk of hip fracture compared to women who eat meat.

Participants in the study included 26,318 women who were part of the UK Women’s Cohort Study. They were classified as regular meat eaters (>5 servings per week), occasional meat eaters (<5 servings per week), fish but not meat eaters (pescetarian), or vegetarian. Participants were followed for 20 years, and all incidences of hip fracture were recorded.

Participants who were vegetarians had a 33% increased risk of hip fracture compared to women who consumed 5 or more servings of meat per week. Women who consumed 5 or less servings of meat per week or who were pescatarians did not have an increased risk compared to regular meat eaters

The researchers also found that vegetarians had an average BMI that was slightly lower than the average for regular meat eaters. Lower BMI has been linked with poorer bone and muscle heath,

The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Leeds. It was published online ahead of print on August 11, 2022, in the journal BMC Medicine.

A previous study found that vitamin D and calcium supplementation may help reduce the risk of hip fracture in vegetarian women.

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