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The benefits of the Mediterranean diet in regard to cardiovascular health and metabolic risk factors in postmenopausal women are well recognized [1, 2]. Seafood is considered as one of the major components of the Mediterranean diet. So could one make a clear link between a regular consumption of fish and cardiovascular benefits? Most of us would say ‘yes, certainly’, but a recent publication challenges this common perception. The newest data come from a prospective cohort study of US women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative from 1993 to 2014 [3]. A total of 39,876 women who were aged ≥ 45 years and free of cardiovascular disease at baseline provided dietary data on food frequency questionnaires. Analyses used Cox proportional hazards models to evaluate the association between fish and energy-adjusted omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and the risk of major cardiovascular disease, defined as a composite outcome of myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular death. The final analytic sample included 38,392 women (mean age 55 years). During 713,559 person-years of follow-up, 1941 cases of incident major cardiovascular disease were confirmed. Tuna and dark fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines, bluefish, and swordfish) intake was not associated with the risk of incident major cardiovascular disease (p-trend > 0.05). Neither α-linolenic acid nor marine omega-3 fatty acid intake was associated with major cardiovascular disease or with individual cardiovascular outcomes (all p-trend > 0.05). There was no effect modification by age, body mass index, or baseline history of hypertension.

Author(s)

  • Amos Pines
    Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Citations

  1. Hernández-Angeles C, Castelo-Branco C. Cardiovascular risk in climacteric women: focus on diet. Climacteric 2016;19:215-21
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27112972
  2. Garcia M, Bihuniak JD, Shook J, Kenny A, Kerstetter J, Huedo-Medina TB. The effect of the traditional Mediterranean-style diet on metabolic risk factors: a meta-analysis. Nutrients 2016;8:168
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26999195
  3. Rhee JJ, Kim E, Buring JE, Kurth T. Fish consumption, omega-3 fatty acids, and risk of cardiovascular disease. Am J Prev Med 2016 Sep 16. Epub ahead of print
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27646568
  4. Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ. Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease. Circulation 2002;106:2747–57
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12438303
  5. Mosca L, Appel LJ, Benjamin EJ, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention in women. American Heart Association scientific statement. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2004;24:e29-50
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15003974
  6. Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ; American Heart Association. Nutrition Committee. Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease. Circulation 2002;106:2747-57
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12438303
  7. Mosca L, Banka CL, Benjamin EJ, et al. Evidence-based guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention in women: 2007 update. Circulation 2007;115:1481-501
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17309915
  8. Folsom AR, Demissie Z. Fish intake, marine omega-3 fatty acids, and mortality in a cohort of postmenopausal women. Am J Epidemiol 2004; 160:1005-1010
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15522857
  9. Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A. Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of stroke: A meta-analysis. Stroke 2011;42:3621-23
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23179632
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