Eating Little or No Fish Ups Young Women's CVD Risk

Women who never eat fish have three-fold higher disease risk than those who eat fish every week

MONDAY, Dec. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Young and initially healthy women who consume little or no fish and long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn3FAs) have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a study published online Dec. 5 in Hypertension.

Marin Strøm, Ph.D., from the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues examined the correlation between LCn3FA intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease in 48,627 women from the Danish National Birth Cohort (mean age at baseline, 29.9 years). Exposure information was correlated with data from the Danish National Patients Registry on a combined measure of cardiovascular disease (events of hypertensive, cerebrovascular, and ischemic heart disease). Food-frequency questionnaires and telephone interviews were used to evaluate fish and LCn3FA intake. The women were followed up from 1996 to 2008 for a median of eight years.

The investigators identified 577 events of cardiovascular disease during follow-up. A higher risk of cardiovascular disease was correlated with low LCn3FA intake (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] for women in lowest versus highest LCn3FA intake group, 1.91). The correlation tended to intensify when the sample was limited to women who had regularly reported similar frequency of fish intake across three different dietary assessment occasions (HR for lowest versus highest intake, 2.91).

"Our findings based on a large prospective cohort of relatively young and initially healthy women indicated that little or no intake of fish and LCn3FAs was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease," the authors write.

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