Fish diet reduces fatal heart attack risk

BOSTON (04/09/97 Reuter News) -

Regularly eating fish can cut the risk of a heart attack by 42 percent, according to a long-term study published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine. The research, led by Dr. Martha Daviglus of the Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and published in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, was only the latest in a series of studies suggesting that a diet high in fish can cut the risk of heart disease. But because several other studies have shown no such benefits for people who eat plenty of fish, the jury has been out on whether fish can play an important role in preventing a heart attack. The research was based on a 30-year study of the diets of 1,822 Chicago Western Electric employees who helped manufacture telephone poles at the company's Hawthorne Works. They were signed up in 1957 and detailed information on 195 foods in their diets was collected. Daviglus and her colleagues found that ``the men who consumed 35 grams or more of fish per day had a 42 percent lower rate of death'' from a heart attack, compared to people who ate no fish. Men who ate intermediate amounts of fish had proportionally lower heart attack rates. They said further studies are needed to definitively show if regular servings of fish protect against heart attacks. The study was done in men, in part, because women usually do not develop heart disease until much later in life.


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