Increased intakes of fatty fish may reduce a woman’s risk of heart failure by up to 30%, according to new findings from the U.S. and Sweden.
The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are well documented. To date, the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been linked to improvements in blood lipid levels, a reduced tendency of thrombosis, blood pressure and heart rate improvements and improved vascular function.
This study adds to previous data in men from the same researchers and published in the European Heart Journal (Vol. 30, pp. 1495-1500). That study, said to be one of the largest studies to investigate the association between omega-3 intake from fatty fish and heart failure, found that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of heart failure by 33%.
Heart failure, which arises when the heart can no longer pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs, is the leading cause of hospitalization among the over-65s, and is characterized by such symptoms as fatigue and weakness, difficulty walking, rapid or irregular heartbeat and persistent cough or wheezing.
In this study, the researchers analyzed data from 36,234 women participating in the Swedish Mammography Cohort. Dietary intake data for the women, aged between 48 and 83, was obtained using 96-item food-frequency questionnaires.
Over the course of 18 years of study, 651 cases of heart failure were documented. Eating one serving of fatty fish per week was associated with a 14% reduction in the risk of heart failure, compared with women who did not eat any fatty fish. Furthermore, eating two servings of fatty fish per week was associated with a 30% reduction.
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Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 62(6): 935-936, 2010More