A study revealed that vegetarians have lower risks to chronic diseases and more days to live than meat eaters.

Michael J. Orlich, M.D., lead author of the study and an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Loma Linda University in California, and his team analyzed the medical records of 73,308 Seventh Day Adventists in the Adventist Health Study 2.

The population was categorized into five: non-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian or those who includes seafood in their diet, lacto-ovo-vegetarian or those who still consume dairy and egg products, and pure vegan.

Their findings revealed that vegetarians were 12 percent less susceptible to chronic diseases such as heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. They also found out that they have up to 52 percent less chance of developing kidney diseases and 39 percent of diabetes. The benefits were more evident on the male population than that of females.

In an interview with Healthline, Orlich said “In the medical community, there is an increasing attention to diet in disease prevention, and a growing appreciation for the role of dietary patterns in managing disease.”

The research team is now planning to pursue further studies related to this study in the next few years. The study was published on June 3 on an online journal the JAMA Network.

Vegetarianism was first introduced in the U.S by the American Health Convention in 1838. A 2013 Public Policy Polling survey said that 13 percent of the Americans consider themselves vegetarians. There were many people trying to switch from the meat diet to veggie diet as the U.S vegetarian food sales doubled between 1998 and 2003 reaching up to $1.3 billion sales. Some of the famous vegetarians in the country are former-U.S president Bill Clinton, Ellen Degeneres, Alanis Morissette, Alicia Silverstone and Mike Tyson.