Relationship Between Fish Consumption and Disease Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2018 Mar;70(3):327-332. doi: 10.1002/acr.23295. Epub 2018 Feb 6.


Objective: To assess whether more frequent fish consumption is associated with lower rheumatoid arthritis (RA) disease activity scores among participants in an RA cohort.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using baseline data from participants in the Evaluation of Subclinical Cardiovascular Disease and Predictors of Events in Rheumatoid Arthritis cohort study. Frequency of fish consumption was assessed by a baseline food frequency questionnaire assessing usual diet in the past year. Multivariable, total energy-adjusted linear regression models provided effect estimates and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for frequency of fish consumption (i.e., never to <1 time/month, 1 time/month to <1 time/week, 1 time/week, and ≥2 times/week) on baseline Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28) using the C-reactive protein (CRP) level. We also estimated the difference in DAS28-CRP associated with increasing fish consumption by 1 serving per week.

Results: Among 176 participants, the median DAS28-CRP score was 3.5 (interquartile range 2.9-4.3). In an adjusted linear regression model, subjects consuming fish ≥2 times/week had a significantly lower DAS28-CRP compared with subjects who ate fish never to <1 time/month (difference -0.49 [95% CI -0.97, -0.02]). For each additional serving of fish per week, DAS28-CRP was significantly reduced by 0.18 (95% CI -0.35, -0.004).

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that higher intake of fish may be associated with lower disease activity in RA patients.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnosis*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / epidemiology
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cooking
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet Surveys
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood
  • Male
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritive Value
  • Prognosis
  • Protective Factors
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • Risk Factors
  • Seafood*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors


  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • C-Reactive Protein