Researchers of a recent study reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined that high intake of fish omega-3 fatty acids is linked to a  25 per cent reduction in the risk of developing heart failure .


Since the initial report of the heart health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids were reported in 1970, thousands of studies have created a fund of knowledge. This new study adds to earlier data in men from the same researchers and published in the European Heart Journal.  That study, one of the largest studies to investigate the association between fatty fish and omega-3 intake, and heart failure, found that omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of heart failure by 33 per cent.


Heart failure, which occurs when heart muscle weakens and cannot pump efficiently to meet the body’s needs.  It is the leading cause of hospitalization among the over sixty-five.  It is  characterized by such symptoms as fatigue and weakness, difficulty walking, difficulty breathing, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and persistent cough or wheezing.


The study, conducted by Dr. Emily Levitan, and her colleagues, conducted over 18 years, involving 36,234 women participating in the Swedish Mammography Cohort.  The diet of the women, aged between 48 and 83 was obtained using 96-item food-frequency questionnaires.


Consuming one portion of fatty fish per week could offer benefits for women by reducing the risk of developing heart failure by up to 30 per cent, compared with women who ate no fatty fish.


During the length of the study, 651 cases of heart failure were documented. Eating one serving of fatty fish per week was associated with a 14 per cent reduction in the risk of heart failure, compared with women who did not eat any fatty fish. Furthermore, eating two servings of fatty fish per week was associated with a 30 per cent reduction.


The association for omega-3 fatty acids was stronger, said the researchers, with the highest intakes of omega-3 associated with a 25 per cent reduction in risk.


The researchers noted, Moderate consumption of fatty fish (1–2 servings per week) and marine omega-3 fatty acids were associated with a lower rate of first heart failure hospitalization or death in this population.” 



European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
“Fatty fish, marine omega-3 fatty acids and incidence of heart failure”