Loma Linda University School of Public Health is engaged in the second large-scale study of the long-term health of Seventh-day Adventists: AHS-2 (Adventist Health Study -2). Initiated in 2002, the study gathered data from over 19,000 Adventists ranging in age between 30- and 112-years-old across the US and Canada. All participants filled out an extensive diet and lifestyle survey.
Some of the major topics being addressed in the study include:
- determining which foods might help prevent chronic and progressive diseases
- the impact of faith on health
- the influence of nature and nurture on health (heredity versus lifestyle)
Results are preliminary, but there have been over 100 published studies of outcomes based on data from AHS-2. Researchers have looked at everything from bone fractures to feelings of happiness to the ability to read food labels.
Some of the initial reports indicate:
- Vegetarians tend to weigh less, have less hypertension, and lead healthier lifestyles than non-vegetarians
- Vitamin D levels in Adventists were impacted more by skin pigmentation than by vegetarian diets
- When compared to Adventists of other races, African American Adventists are more likely to have type 2 diabetes, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure but less likely to have myocardial infarction, heart attacks, high cholesterol, emphysema and fibromyalgia.
- Adventists who reported that the Sabbath made them feel calm and peaceful had better mental health
Other interesting findings include:
- Eating more trans fat was associated with being in a worse mood (negative affect).1
- Watching television more than two hours per day was related to problems with falling and staying asleep.2
- There is a relationship between higher levels of physical activity and a reduced risk of wrist fracture 25 years later in women.3
- Vegetarian women who ate comparatively high amounts of soy were at a higher risk of having elevated thyroid stimulating hormone levels.4
To read more about AHS-2 and other past and ongoing studies, click here: