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No major role for fish in the prevention of heart failure
Date:9/29/2009

'No major role for fish' in the prevention of heart failure; only a possible beneficial effect in those with diabetes

The consumption of fish has no major role in the prevention of heart failure, according to results from a large prospective population study.(1) The study, which was started in 1990 and involved all men and women over the age of 55 living in a suburb of Rotterdam, found no difference in the risk of developing heart failure between those who did eat fish and those who didn't.

The study is published on 30 September in the October issue of the European Journal of Heart Failure.

"Scientists and health authorities are increasingly persuaded that the intake of fish - even in small amounts - will protect against the risk of fatal myocardial infarction," said study investigator Dr Marianne Geleinjse from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. "However, there is no strong evidence that eating fish will protect against heart failure. One study has suggested that this might be so, but we could not confirm it in our cohort study of older Dutch people."

Heart failure is by far today's single biggest reason for acute hospital admission. Around 30 million people in Europe have heart failure and its incidence is still increasing: more cases are being identified, more people are living to an old age, and more are surviving a heart attack but with damage to the heart muscle. According to one study, the reported prevalence among those aged 65-74 years is one in 35, and among the over-85s one in seven.

According to background information to the study, the lifetime risk of developing heart failure is even higher - estimated in men and women as one in four at age 40. The risks increase with age, and prognosis is poor; a previous report from the same Rotterdam Study has shown survival rates at one, two and five years of 89%, 79%, and 59%, representing an age-adjusted mortality rate twice that of those without he
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