Lifelong Learning- Adventist Health Study

ahs_headerAdventist Health Study-1
34,192 Adventists aged 25+ from California


This cohort study was different to the earlier mortality study in that it investigated factors related to the incidence of disease and mainly compared Adventist with Adventist.


Key Results

  • On average Adventist men live 7.3 years longer and Adventist women live 4.4 years longer than other Californians
  • Five simple health behaviors promoted by the church for more than 100 years (not smoking, eating a plant based diet, eating nuts several times per week, regular exercise and maintaining normal body weight) increase life span by up to 10 years
  • Increasing consumption of red and white meat was associated with an increase of colon cancer
  • Eating legumes was protective for colon cancer
  • Eating nuts several times a week reduces the risk of heart attack by up to 50%
  • Eating whole meal bread instead of white bread reduced non-fatal heart attack risk by 45%
  • Drinking 5 or more glasses of water a day may reduce heart disease by 50%
  • Men who had a high consumption of tomatoes reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 40%
  • Drinking soy milk more than once daily may reduce prostate cancer risk by 70%

In summary, frequent eating of fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of several cancers. Eating nuts and whole grains reduces the risk of heart attack.


Adventist Health Study-2
97,000 Adventists aged 30+ years living in the USA and Canada


Preliminary Key Results

  • 1% smoke tobacco
  • .6% are current drinkers of alcohol
  • About 50% drink soy milk ( the relationship between soy milk and certain cancers and heart disease is one of the major themes of the study)
  • There is a wide distribution of diet:
    1. Total vegetarians (vegan)—4%
    2. Lacto-ovo vegetarians—31%
    3. Pesco vegetarians—i11% (eat fish and dairy)
    4. Semi-vegetarians—6% (eat meat more than once per month, but less than once per week)
    5. Non-vegetarians—46%
  • Type of diet is a significant factor for body weight:
    1. Our data shows a progressive weight increase from a total vegetarian diet toward a non-vegetarian diet. For instance, 55 year old male and female vegans weigh about 30 pounds less than non-vegetarians of similar height.
    2. The closer you are to eating a vegetarian diet, the better you can control your weight.
  • Levels of cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure, all had the same trend—the closer you are to being a vegetarian, the lower the health risks in these areas.


Loma Linda Adventist Health Studies – better health for everyone! Report 2008 Volume V

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