Eating fish at least twice per week can help to protect people who already have cardiovascular disease (CVD) or elevated risk factors for developing it, a recent analysis found.
Led by scientists from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, the analysis included data from several large studies involving people from more than 60 countries. It shows that eating fish – particularly “oily” fish like salmon, sardines and tuna that are high in omega-3 fatty acids – may lower the risk of major CVD events such as heart attacks and strokes by about one-sixth in adults with existing CVD or conditions like hypertension that place them at high risk. No significant reductions in risk were observed for people without a known history or risk factors for heart disease and stroke, however.
The four included studies involved a total of 192,000 participants, about 52,000 of whom had CVD. It is the only study to date based on health information from people on every continent; previous studies have focused mainly on North America, Europe, China and Japan.