Fish consumption and risk of depression: a meta-analysis

J Epidemiol Community Health. 2016 Mar;70(3):299-304. doi: 10.1136/jech-2015-206278. Epub 2015 Sep 10.


Background: The association between fish consumption and risk of depression is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the association.

Methods: A literature search was performed in PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science database for all relevant studies up to March 2015. We pooled the relative risks (RRs) with 95% CIs from individual studies with random effects model, and conducted meta-regression to explore potential sources of heterogeneity. Publication bias was estimated by Egger's test and the funnel plot.

Results: A total of 26 studies involving 150,278 participants were included in the present meta-analysis. The pooled RR of depression for the highest versus lowest consumption of fish was 0.83 (95% CI 0.74 to 0.93). The findings remained significant in the cohort studies (RR=0.84, 95% CI 0.75 to 0.94, n=10) as well as in the cross-sectional studies (RR=0.82, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.00, n=16). When men and women were analysed separately, a significant inverse association was also observed. There was no evidence of publication bias.

Conclusions: This meta-analysis indicates that high-fish consumption can reduce the risk of depression.


Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Diet*
  • Fish Products*
  • Fishes
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors