Fish, omega-3 long-chain fatty acids, and all-cause mortality in a low-income US population: Results from the Southern Community Cohort Study

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2015 Jul;25(7):651-8. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2015.04.006. Epub 2015 Apr 25.


Background: We examined associations between fish and n-3 LCFA and mortality in a prospective study with a large proportion of blacks with low socio-economic status.

Methods and results: We observed 6914 deaths among 77,604 participants with dietary data (follow-up time 5.5 years). Of these, 77,100 participants had available time-to-event data. We investigated associations between mortality with fish and n-3 LCFA intake, adjusting for age, race, sex, kcal/day, body mass index (BMI), smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, income, education, chronic disease, insurance coverage, and meat intake. Intakes of fried fish, baked/grilled fish and total fish, but not tuna, were associated with lower mortality among all participants. Analysis of trends in overall mortality by quintiles of intake showed that intakes of fried fish, baked/grilled fish and total fish, but not tuna, were associated with lower risk of total mortality among all participants. When participants with chronic disease were excluded, the observed association remained only between intakes of baked/grilled fish, while fried fish was associated with lower risk of mortality in participants with prevalent chronic disease. The association between n-3 LCFA intake and lower risk of mortality was significant among those with diabetes at baseline. There was an inverse association of mortality with fried fish intake in men, but not women. Total fish and baked/grilled fish intakes were associated with lower mortality among blacks while fried fish intake was associated with lower mortality among whites. Effect modifications were not statistically significant.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest a modest benefit of fish consumption on mortality.

Keywords: Fish; Omega-3 long-chain fatty acids; Southern Community Cohort Study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Black People
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cooking
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Diet Surveys
  • Diet*
  • Ethnicity
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3*
  • Female
  • Fishes*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • White People


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3