The study, published by BMC Medicine, used results from an EPIC-Oxford study to examine more than 55,000 residents in the United Kingdom between 1993 and 2001 and then again in 2010. The study also used U.K. National Health Service records to collect data from 2016, according to a report.
While it’s the largest study to date on the relationship between bone fractures and diet, researchers said the results merely “suggest that bone health in vegans requires further research.”
Vegans were especially at risk for hip fractures, with results showing they suffered 2.3 times more cases than meat eaters. Vegetarians and pescatarians are also at a heightened risk, but not to the extent of vegans.
Within the study was a citation to a study published years earlier that pointed to vegetarians having lower bone density than those who eat meat.
Results were self-reported and did not include the cause of fractures in their reports. Researchers speculated the causes could be a lack of calcium or protein in vegans’ diets or the fact that they tend to have lower body mass indexes.