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Fish Consumption vs Heart Failure

Posted Jun 13 2011 8:30am
Several aphorisms & sayings came to mind as I reviewed a study published early online last month  in order to compose this post.  The devil is in the details.  Don't assume anything because it will make an a-- out of you & me.  Is this a fluke (no pun intended) or trend?  What's good for the goose, is good for the gander (I hope!).

In an(other) analysis of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), 84,493 women 50-79yo w/o baseline heart failure (HF) were followed for an average of 10 years.  Those who consumed baked/broiled fish >5/wk had a 30% lower risk of developing HF compared to those who consumed baked/broiled fish <1/mo.  However, those who regularly consumed fried fish at a rate of >1/wk had a 48% greater risk of developing HF.

Details, shmetails.  Fish is fish, right?  Wrong?  It turns out that how you cook your fish makes a difference with regards to your HF risk.  Baking & broiling lowers your risk but frying increases it.  

Can we assume that fish oil is the same as fish?  Interestingly, there was no correlation between EPA+DHA levels, fish consumption & HF.  So you better learn to like eating fish!
Fluke or trend?  The latter, mostly, I think.  After all, other analyses have recently concluded that fish consumption lowers one's risk for macular degeneration , heart attack & stroke .  The only flies in the ointment thus far has been a link to increase risk of diabetes  & prostate cancer .

Goose = gander?  Remember that WHI consists only of postmenopausal women.  Does this finding apply to premenopausal women?  What about men?  We don't know.


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