Fish Consumption Moderates Depressive Symptomatology in Elderly Men and Women from the IKARIA Study

Cardiol Res Pract. 2010 Dec 15;2011:219578. doi: 10.4061/2011/219578.


Background. The aim was to examine the association of depressive symptoms with fish eating habits, in elderly individuals. Methods. From June to October of 2009, we studied 330 men and 343 women, aged 65 to 100 years, permanent inhabitants of Ikaria Island. Among several characteristics, depression was assessed with the Geriatric Depression scale (GDS range 0-15), while dietary habits through a valid semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. Results. Women had significantly higher values of the GDS compared to men (4.8 ± 3.5 versus 3.3 ± 3.1, P = .001). Participants in the upper tertile of depression scale ate less frequent fish and consumed higher quantities of alcohol, compared to those in the lowest tertile (all P < .05). Regarding fish consumption, 50% of the individuals reported consuming 1-2 times weekly, 32% 3 to 5 times weekly, 11% 2-3 times monthly, while the rest reported rare (4.5%) and everyday (1.2%) consumption. Logistic regression showed that increased fish consumption (>3 times/week versus never/rare) was inversely associated with the odds of having GDS greater the median value (i.e., 4) (odds ratio = 0.34, 95% CI: 0.19, 0.61), after controlling for several cofounders. Conclusion. Frequent fish consumption in elderly seems to moderate depression mood.