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Abstract Title:

Vegetarian Diet Is Associated with Lower Risk of Depression in Taiwan.

Abstract Source:

Nutrients. 2021 Mar 24 ;13(4). Epub 2021 Mar 24. PMID: 33805124

Abstract Author(s):

Yu-Chih Shen, Chiao-Erh Chang, Ming-Nan Lin, Chin-Lon Lin

Article Affiliation:

Yu-Chih Shen


In order to determine whether Taiwanese vegetarian diets reduce the risks of depression, we analyzed data from the Tzu Chi Vegetarian Study (TCVS), which is a prospective cohort study following 12,062 participants from the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation of Taiwan since 2005. The cohort was prospectively followed by linking to the National Health Institute Research Database (NHIRD) of Taiwan and hazard ratios of depression between vegetarian and non-vegetarian groups were calculated by Cox proportional hazards regression. We assessed dietary intake using a detailed food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Incident depression was ascertained through linkage to NHIRD which had claim records with the International Classification of Diseases, and a total of 3571 vegetarians and 7006 non-vegetarians were included in this analysis. Compared with non-vegetarians, the vegetarian group had a lower incidence of depressive disorders (2.37 vs. 3.21 per 10,000 person-years; adjusted hazard ratio (aHR): 0.70; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 0.52-0.93). Thus, Taiwanese vegetarians had a lower risk of developing subsequent depressive disorders compared with non-vegetarians. This indicated that diet may be an important measure for the prevention of depression. However, to generalize to the global population requires further study.

Study Type : Human Study

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