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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Fish helps male heart

Thurs April 23rd, 2009

Eating oily fish may help protect men against heart failure, according to new findings.

Researchers gathered diet and health information from 39,367 Swedish men aged between 45 and 79 years, who were followed for seven years.

Compared with no fatty fish consumption (herring, mackerel, salmon, etc), men who ate fatty fish once a week had a 12 per cent reduced risk of heart failure. Greater consumption did not lead to a greater benefit, but this result "may be due to chance", the experts report in the European Heart Journal.

They conclude: "In this population, moderate intake of fatty fish and marine omega-3 fatty acids was associated with lower rates of heart failure, though the association for fish intake was not statistically significant."

"Overall fish intake" was not adjusted for total energy intake and age, which may explain why it was not directly linked to heart failure risk.

The researchers, led by Dr Emily Levitan of Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, say that consumption of oily fish is linked to reduced rates of heart failure among the elderly in the US, but not among other age groups or populations.

Dr Levitan said: "Our study shows that a moderate intake of fatty fish and marine omega-3 fatty acids is associated with lower rates of heart failure in men, but that the men did not gain a greater benefit by eating more of these foods."

She added that previous studies have shown that fatty fish and omega-3 fatty acids help to combat risk factors for a range of heart-related conditions such as lowering levels of triglycerides (fats in the blood), blood pressure, heart rate and heart rate variability.

Levitan, E. B., Wolk, A. and Mittleman, M. A. Fish consumption, marine omega-3 fatty acids, and incidence of heart failure: a population-based prospective study of middle-aged and elderly men. European Heart Journal, published online April 22, 2009.

Tags: Diet & Food | Heart Health | Menís Health | North America | Europe

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