Researchers compared the early death rates and cancer incidence rates in Seventh-Day Adventists and the general US population
Many Adventists live in Loma Linda, one of five places around the world known as ‘Blue Zones’ where people tend to live longer
Adventists eat a plant-based diet, don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol or caffeine and exercise regularly
Early death rates among Adventists were 33% lower and cancer rates were 30% lower
When black Adventists were compared to the black general population, the religious group had 36% lower early death rates and 30% lower cancer incidence
Seventh-Day Adventists have a lower cancer risk and a longer life expectancy than the general US population, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that early death rates among the religious group were 33 percent lower than the rest of the country and cancer incidence rates were 30 percent lower.
Similar results were found when they compared black Adventists to the black general population.
Death rates and cancer rates were 36 percent and 22 percent, respectively, lower.
The team, from Loma Linda University, in California, says Seventh-Day Adventists have created one of the world’s five ‘Blue Zones’ – geographic areas with low rates of chronic disease and home to some of the world’s oldest people.
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church was founded in the 1840s and many settled in the tiny town of Loma Linda, tucked into San Bernardino.
Loma Linda is one of five ‘Blue Zones’, small pockets around the world where people tend to live well into their 90s and even their 100s, which includes towns in Costa Rica, Greece, Italy and Bhutan.
Health is central to the Adventists’ faith and they have strict rules on diet, exercise and rest.
Adventists typically avoid meat and dairy products and follow a ‘biblical diet’, or the way that those who lived thousands of years ago ate.
It’s a vegetarian diet consisting of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Their go-to-snack is nuts.
Residents don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol or caffeine – sticking only to water – and exercise regularly.
For the study, published in the online journal CANCER, the team looked at data on cancer rates and early death rates from the Adventist Health Study-2 and the US Census population.
They found that Adventists had 33 percent lower rates of death from any cause and 30 percent lower rates of all cancers combined.
When it came to specific cancers, Adventists had 30 percent lower rates of breast cancer, 16 percent lower rates of colorectal cancer, 50 percent lower rates of rectal cancer and 30 percent lower rates of lung cancer.