Posted on Dec 29, 2011, 6 a.m.
Among a group of young, pregnant Danish women, a low intake of fish or omega-3 fatty acids associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease.
Previously, a number of studies have shown associations between omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and cardiovascular disease risk. Marin Strom, from the Statens Serum Institut (Denmark), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 48,627young women, average age 29.9 years, enrolled in the Danish National Birth Cohort. All of the women reported fish intake on a food frequency questionnaire and during telephone interviews when they were pregnant. The most common fish species consumed were cod, plaice, salmon, herring, and mackerel. The researchers used that information to estimate consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. Those subjects who reported eating less than 3 grams of fish per day during pregnancy were about 50% more likely to be hospitalized with a cardiovascular event, as compared to those who ate more than 30 grams per day. The findings were similar for estimated omega-3 fatty acid intake. The study authors conclude that: “Our findings based on a large prospective cohort of relatively young and initially healthy women indicated that little or no intake of fish and [omega-3 fatty acids] was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Marin Strom, Thorhallur I. Halldorsson, Erik L. Mortensen, Christian Torp-Pedersen, Sjurdur F. Olsen. “Fish, n-3 Fatty Acids, and Cardiovascular Diseases in Women of Reproductive Age: A Prospective Study in a Large National Cohort.” Hypertension. 2012; 59:36-43.