Objective To examine the associations of vegetarianism with risks of ischaemic heart disease and stroke.
Design Prospective cohort study.
Setting The EPIC-Oxford study, a cohort in the United Kingdom with a large proportion of non-meat eaters, recruited across the country between 1993 and 2001.
Participants 48 188 participants with no history of ischaemic heart disease, stroke, or angina (or cardiovascular disease) were classified into three distinct diet groups: meat eaters (participants who consumed meat, regardless of whether they consumed fish, dairy, or eggs; n=24 428), fish eaters (consumed fish but no meat; n=7506), and vegetarians including vegans (n=16 254), based on dietary information collected at baseline, and subsequently around 2010 (n=28 364).
Main outcome measures Incident cases of ischaemic heart disease and stroke (including ischaemic and haemorrhagic types) identified through record linkage until 2016.
Results Over 18.1 years of follow-up, 2820 cases of ischaemic heart disease and 1072 cases of total stroke (519 ischaemic stroke and 300 haemorrhagic stroke) were recorded.