July 21, 2009

Fish may help reduce risk of dementia

A study involving 14,960 participants age 65 and older found increased fish consumption is associated with lower dementia risk, a British researcher says.

The survey of older people was carried out at 11 sites -- one urban and one rural in Peru, Mexico, China, and India and in urban sites only in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. More affluent areas of the countries were avoided.

Dietary habits were assessed by using standard, culturally appropriate face-to-face interviews and dementia was diagnosed by using validated culturally and educationally fair criteria.

In each of the study countries, except India, there was an inverse association between fish consumption and dementia prevalence. These data extend to low- and middle-income countries previous conclusions from industrialized countries, that increased fish consumption is associated with lower dementia prevalence in later life, says first author Emiliano Albanese of King's College London.

The findings are published in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.