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Eating fatty fish once a week reduces men's risk of heart failure
Date:4/21/2009

y to develop heart failure, compared with men who ate no fatty fish. Although this association did not reach statistical significance, notes Levitan, the researchers also found a statistically significant association with the intake of marine omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in cod liver and other fish oils: The men who consumed approximately 0.36 grams a day were 33 percent less likely to develop heart failure than the men who consumed little or no marine omega-3 fatty acids.

"We divided the men into five groups based on their intake of fatty fish," explains Levitan. "The first group consumed little or no fatty fish; at the other end of the spectrum, the fifth group consumed significant quantitities, three or more servings per week. We found that while the 'middle group' who ate one serving per week had a 12 percent reduced risk of heart failure, the next two groups, who ate either two servings a week or three or more servings a week, had nearly the same heart failure risk as the men who ate no fish at all."

The findings were similar when the researchers looked at fish oil consumption: Among five groups based on fish oil consumption, the middle group, who consumed 0.36 grams per day of omega-3 fatty acids showed a 33 percent reduced risk of heart failure, while the men who consumer greater quantities (approximately 0.46 grams per day or 0.71 grams per day) had a risk of heart failure similar to the men who consumed little or no fish oils.

"The higher rates of heart failure in men who consumed the most fatty fish or marine omega-3 fatty acids compared with the men who had moderate consumption may be due to chance," explains Levitan. Alternatively, she explains, the men who ate more fish may already be in poor health, and may be trying to improve their health through fish consumption.

"Our study reinforces the current recommendations for moderate consumption of fatty fish," notes Levitan. "Current guidelines from the American
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Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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