Fish consumption and CHD mortality: an updated meta-analysis of seventeen cohort studies

Public Health Nutr. 2012 Apr;15(4):725-37. doi: 10.1017/S1368980011002254. Epub 2011 Sep 14.


Objective: Results of studies on fish consumption and CHD mortality are inconsistent. The present updated meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the up-to-date pooling effects.

Design: A random-effects model was used to pool the risk estimates. Generalized least-squares regression and restricted cubic splines were used to assess the possible dose-response relationship. Subgroup analyses were conducted to examine the sources of heterogeneity.

Setting: PubMed and ISI Web of Science databases up to September 2010 were searched and secondary referencing qualified for inclusion in the study.

Subjects: Seventeen cohorts with 315,812 participants and average follow-up period of 15·9 years were identified.

Results: Compared with the lowest fish intake (<1 serving/month or 1-3 servings/month), the pooled relative risk (RR) of fish intake on CHD mortality was 0·84 (95% CI 0·75, 0·95) for low fish intake (1 serving/week), 0·79 (95% CI 0·67, 0·92) for moderate fish intake (2-4 servings/week) and 0·83 (95% CI 0·68, 1·01) for high fish intake (>5 servings/week). The dose-response analysis indicated that every 15 g/d increment of fish intake decreased the risk of CHD mortality by 6% (RR = 0·94; 95% CI 0·90, 0·98). The method of dietary assessment, gender and energy adjustment affected the results remarkably.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that either low (1 serving/week) or moderate fish consumption (2-4 servings/week) has a significantly beneficial effect on the prevention of CHD mortality. High fish consumption (>5 servings/week) possesses only a marginally protective effect on CHD mortality, possibly due to the limited studies included in this group.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Fishes
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Seafood*