Background: A study to evaluate the link between long-term fish intake and health status in a sample of elderly adults was undertaken.
Material/methods: Three hundred men and women from Cyprus, 142 from Mitilini, and 100 from Samothraki islands (aged 65 to 100 years) were enrolled in this study during 2005-2006. Dietary habits (including fish consumption) were assessed through a food frequency questionnaire. Among various factors, fasting blood glucose, arterial blood pressures, and blood lipids were measured.
Results: Sixty-one percent of the participants reported that they had consumed fish approximately once a week (mean intake: 1.9+/-1.2 servings/week) for a mean period of 30 years. After adjusting for various confounders, fish intake was inversely associated with systolic blood pressure (p=0.026), fasting glucose (p<0.001), total serum cholesterol (p=0.012), and triglyceride levels (p=0.024). Multinomial logistic regression revealed that a decrease of 100 g per week in fish intake was associated with a 19% (95%CI: 1-41) higher likelihood of having one additional cardiovascular risk factor (i.e. hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, obesity).
Conclusions: The results indicate that long-term fish intake is associated with reduced levels of the most common cardiovascular disease risk markers in a cohort of elderly people.