Lower Incidence of Heart Failure in Women Consuming more Fish and DHA/EPA

July 12, 2010


Fatty Fish , Marine Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Incidence of Heart Failure
Levitan, E. B. et al., Europ. J. Clinical Nutr., 64: 587-594 , 2010
Dept. of Epidemiology, Univ. of Alabama , Birminghan, AL, USA


The present study monitored fatty fish intakes as well as DHA/EPA intakes in 36,234 Swedish women (ages 48-83 yrs) who had no previous history of heart failure or myocardial infarction or diabetes. They were followed for 9 years thereafter with respect to a first hospitalization for heart failure or death. Women consuming two fish servings per week had a rate of heart failure events that was 30 % lower than those who did not consume fatty fish. Furthermore, those with the highest intakes (upper 20 %) of marine-based omega-3 fatty acids (as EPA plus DHA) with daily median intakes of DHA plus EPA of 570 mg/day exhibited a 25 % lower incidence of heart failure (HF) events as compared to those with the lowest intakes (lower 20 % or median daily intakes of 140 mg/day). The authors concluded that a moderate consumption of fatty fish and (DHA plus EPA) intakes ‘were associated with a lower rate of first HF hospitalization or death in this population’.

Dr. Holub's Comments:

It is noteworthy that average intakes of fish in North America are currently no more than one fish serving per week and that average daily intakes of (DHA plus EPA) are only 120-150 mg/day. The highest median intakes of (DHA plus EPA) of 570 mg/day in the present study are very close to the recommended target intake of 500 mg/day for overall health as advised by the American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada.

Return to Cardiovascular Health Research