May 26, 2011

Healthy Fish Linked to Lower Heart Risks

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Postmenopausal women who frequently consume baked or broiled fish may have a lower risk of developing heart failure, according to a new study. However, those who consume a lot of fried fish have a higher risk for heart trouble.

Heart failure affects about 5.7 million Americans. There are many different known causes of heart failure. Some of these include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, being overweight, a lack of physical activity, and a poor diet.

Researchers examined self-reported diet data from 84,493 postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study. They divided the participants into groups based on the frequency and type of fish they consumed. The analysis was based on data from 1991 through August 2008. During an average follow-up of 10 years, 1,858 cases of heart failure occurred.

The researchers found the women who consumed the most baked/broiled fish (five or more servings per week) had a 30-percent lower risk of heart failure compared to women who rarely consumed baked/broiled fish (less than one serving per month).

Results also showed that the type of fish may affect heart failure risk. Dark fish such as salmon, mackerel and bluefish were linked to a significantly greater risk reduction compared to tuna or white fish.

Fried fish was strongly associated with an increased risk of heart failure. Consuming just one serving a week of fried fish was associated with a 48-percent higher heart failure risk.
"Not all fish are equal, and how you prepare it really matters," Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M., senior author of the study, was quoted as saying. "When you fry fish, you not only lose a lot of the benefits, you likely add some things related to the cooking process that are harmful."

SOURCE: Circulation: Heart Failure, an American Heart Association Journal, May 2011