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Fatty Fish Consumption Linked to Less Heart Failure

Last Updated: April 28, 2009.

Although middle-aged and elderly men who have a moderate intake of fatty fish have lower incidence of heart failure than their counterparts who do not eat the food, the reduction is not statistically significant, and eating larger amounts confers less not more benefits, according to a study published online April 21 in the European Heart Journal.

TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Although middle-aged and elderly men who have a moderate intake of fatty fish have lower incidence of heart failure than their counterparts who do not eat the food, the reduction is not statistically significant, and eating larger amounts confers less not more benefits, according to a study published online April 21 in the European Heart Journal.

Emily B. Levitan, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted a study of the 39,367 participants in the Cohort of Swedish Men who were surveyed regarding their diet using a food frequency questionnaire, and who were followed from January 1998 to December 2004.

The hazard ratio of heart failure for men who reported consumption of fatty fish once a week versus that of men who did not eat any fatty fish was 0.88, but the hazard ratio did not improve further among men who reported higher than once-weekly intake, the researchers found.

"The apparent U-shaped relationship of fatty fish and marine omega-3 fatty acids with heart failure was unexpected," the authors write. "We did not have information on the source of the fish consumed and could not further evaluate the hypothesis that contaminates may have contributed to the U-shaped relationship observed."

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