Indication: Heart failure
Source: European Journals of Heart Failure 2009 11(10):922-928.
Research: Evidence is accumulating for a cardioprotective effect of fish or its n-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Researchers examined EPA and DHA and fish intake in relation to incident heart failure in the population-based Rotterdam Study.
Results: Analysis comprised 5299 subjects (41% men, age about 68 years, free from heart failure) for whom dietary data were available. During 11.4 years of follow-up 669 subjects developed heart failure. The relative risk (RR) of heart failure in the top vs. bottom quintile of EPA and DHA intake was 0.89 (95% CI 0.69-1.14) after adjustment for lifestyle and dietary factors. For fish intakes >29 grams/day, the RR was 0.96 (.78-1.18) compared with no fish intake. In sex-specific analysis, a high EPA and DHA intake tended to be protective in women (RR=0.75, 0.54-1.04) but not in men (RR=1.00, 0.73-1.36). An inverse association for EPA and DHA was also observed in diabetics (RR=0.58, 0.32-1.06), which was borderline statistically significant. Researchers indicate that findings do not support a major role for fish intake in the prevention of heart failure. The potentially protective effect of EPA and DHA in diabetic patients, however, warrants further investigation.