Background: Results from observational studies on fish consumption and coronary heart disease (CHD) mortality are inconsistent.
Methods and results: A meta-analysis of cohort studies was conducted to examine the association between fish intake and CHD mortality. Studies were included if they provided a relative risk (RR) and corresponding 95% CI for CHD mortality in relation to fish consumption and the frequency of fish intake. A database was developed on the basis of 11 eligible studies and 13 cohorts, including 222 364 individuals with an average 11.8 years of follow-up. Pooled RR and 95% CI for CHD mortality were calculated by using both fixed-effect and random-effect models. A linear regression analysis of the log RR weighted by the inverse of variance was performed to assess the possible dose-response relation. Compared with those who never consumed fish or ate fish less than once per month, individuals with a higher intake of fish had lower CHD mortality. The pooled multivariate RRs for CHD mortality were 0.89 (95% CI, 0.79 to 1.01) for fish intake 1 to 3 times per month, 0.85 (95% CI, 0.76 to 0.96) for once per week, 0.77 (95% CI, 0.66 to 0.89) for 2 to 4 times per week, and 0.62 (95% CI, 0.46 to 0.82) for 5 or more times per week. Each 20-g/d increase in fish intake was related to a 7% lower risk of CHD mortality (P for trend=0.03).
Conclusions: These results indicate that fish consumption is inversely associated with fatal CHD. Mortality from CHD may be reduced by eating fish once per week or more.