The comparison of the metabolic syndrome between Chinese vegetarians and omnivores

Kuo Chin Hung, Dee Pei, Hsin Jen Kuo, Tien Hsiang Chen, Chin Hao Lin, Chung Ze Wu, Te Lin Hsia, Ching Chieh Su, Fone Ching Hsiao, Chieh Hua Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The metabolic syndrome (MetS) is well recognized as a tool for identifying subjects with risk for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. And the benefits of vegetarian diet were also documented in many reports. In this study, we investigated the effects of vegetarian diet on the MetS in Chinese. Methods: We enrolled 71 vegetarians and 388 omnivores with matched age as controls. They were further classified as with or without MetS using the definitions of International Diabetes Federation. Results: The waist circumference (WC) was significantly lower in vegetarians. However, the systolic blood pressure (SBP) was higher, the HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), fasting plasma glucose (FPG), triglyceride (TG) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) were lower in vegetarians, but without significance. Sixty-two vegetarians (87%) and 317 omnivores (81.7%) were without MetS. The χ2-test showed no difference between them. According to the numbers of MetS components, we further divided the subjects into six groups (from 0 to 5 components). Although there was trend that less vegetarians were noted when the numbers of the MetS components increased, but there was no significant differences compared to omnivores. Conclusion: The FPG, WC, TG and DPB were lower in vegetarians, but only the difference of WC reached statistical significance. In the meanwhile, the SBP was higher and HDL-C was lower, non-significantly, in vegetarians. Due to the paradoxical changes, although there was tendency that vegetarians had less chance to have MetS, it was not significant. Further studies are needed to elusive the role of vegetarian diet in MetS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Omnivores
  • Vegetarians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine


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