Background: Prevailing dietary guidelines recommend regular fish consumption. However, the associations of fish and long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3 PUFAs) intakes with mortality remain unclear.
Objectives: To examine the associations of fish and LCn-3 PUFAs intakes with total and cause-specific mortality.
Methods: A total of 240 729 men and 180 580 women from NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study were prospectively followed-up for 16 years. Dietary intakes were assessed using a validated NIH Diet History Questionnaire.
Results: A total of 54 230 men and 30 882 women died during 6.07 million person-years of follow-up. Higher fish and LCn-3 PUFAs intakes were significantly associated with lower total mortality (P < 0.0001). Comparing the highest with lowest quintiles of fish intake, men had 9% (95% confidence interval, 6-11%) lower total mortality, 10% (6-15%) lower cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, 6% (1-10%) lower cancer mortality, 20% (11-28%) lower respiratory disease mortality and 37% (17-53%) lower chronic liver disease mortality, while women had 8% (5-12%) lower total mortality, 10% (3-17%) lower CVD mortality and 38% (20-52%) lower Alzheimer's disease mortality. Fried fish consumption was not related to mortality in men whereas positively associated with mortality from all causes (P = 0.011), CVD and respiratory disease in women. LCn-3 PUFAs intake was associated with 15% and 18% lower CVD mortality in men and women across extreme quintiles, respectively.
Conclusion: Consumption of fish and LCn-3 PUFAs was robustly associated with lower mortality from major causes. Our findings support current guidelines for fish consumption while advice on non-frying preparation methods is needed.
Keywords: AARP diet and health study; cardiovascular disease; long-chain omega-3 fatty acids; marine fish; mortality.
© 2018 The Association for the Publication of the Journal of Internal Medicine.