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Fish Consumption, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

  • Jinnie J. Rhee
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to: Jinnie J. Rhee, MSc, ScD, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 1070 Arastradero Road, #3C3109, Palo Alto CA 94304
    Affiliations
    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Nutrition, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

    Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    Division of Aging, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, California
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  • Eunjung Kim
    Affiliations
    Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Julie E. Buring
    Affiliations
    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

    Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Tobias Kurth
    Affiliations
    Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts

    Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts

    Institute of Public Health, Charité−Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany
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Published:September 16, 2016DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2016.07.020

      Introduction

      Data on omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in relation to cardiovascular disease are limited in women. The aim of this study was to examine longitudinal relations of tuna and dark fish, α-linolenic acid, and marine omega-3 fatty acid intake with incident major cardiovascular disease in women.

      Methods

      This was a prospective cohort study of U.S. women participating in the Women’s Health Study from 1993 to 2014, during which the data were collected and analyzed. 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, in 38,392 women in the final analytic sample (96%).

      Results

      During 713,559 person years of follow-up, 1,941 cases of incident major cardiovascular disease were confirmed. Tuna and dark fish 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, BMI, or baseline history of hypertension.

      Conclusions

      In this cohort of women without history of cardiovascular disease, intakes of tuna and dark fish, α-linolenic acid, and marine omega-3 fatty acids were not associated with risk of major cardiovascular disease.
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