Posted on Apr 23, 2010, 6 a.m.
Middle-aged and older women who ate fatty fish, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, slashed their risk of heart failure by up to 30%.
Omega-3 fatty acids from fish sources have been shown to exert beneficial effects on cardiovascular risk factors, with increased consumption of fatty fish and the omega-3s it contains to associate with lower rates of cardiovascular diseases. Emily Levitan, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health (Alabama, USA), and colleagues assessed the relationship of fatty fish and omega-3s contained therein, with heart failure risk among middle-aged and older women. The researchers analyzed data from 36,234 women, ages 48 and 83 years, who were enrolled in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Surveying dietary intakes and tracking incidence of heart failure during the eighteen-year long study period. The team found that those who ate one serving of fatty fish per week had a 14% reduction in the risk of heart failure, and those women who ate two servings of fatty fish per week slashed their risk by 30%. (as compared to women who did not eat any fatty fish). The researchers conclude that: “Moderate consumption of fatty fish (1 - 2 servings per week) and marine omega-3 fatty acids were associated with a lower rate of first [heart failure] hospitalization or death in this population.”
E B Levitan, A Wolk, M A Mittleman. “Fatty fish, marine Omega-3 fatty acids and incidence of heart failure.” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 24 March 2010; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2010.50.