Fish-liver oil when younger may reduce heart disease risk when older

By Annie Harrison-Dunn

- Last updated on GMT

Women who took fish liver oil at least three times weekly in adolescence or midlife had a lower risk of heart disease than women who ate none
Women who took fish liver oil at least three times weekly in adolescence or midlife had a lower risk of heart disease than women who ate none

Related tags Heart

Consuming fish-liver oil three times weekly in adolescence or midlife may reduce a woman’s chances of coronary heart disease later in life, say Icelandic researchers.

The AGES-Reykjavik Study looked at 3326 women aged 66–96 years. Coronary heart disease (CHD) status was recorded at the beginning of the study as was information on fish and fish-liver oil consumption during midlife and adolescence retrospectively.

“Compared with women with no intake of fish-liver oil in adolescence or midlife, women who consumed fish liver oil at least three times weekly in adolescence or in midlife had a decreased risk of CHD,”​ according to the results published in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

The same could not be said for fish consumption. No associations were seen when comparing those who consumed more than two portions of fish a week with less than two portions per week in adolescence or midlife.

Coronary heart disease was detected in 7.9% (234) of the women and 67% of the participants had high intakes of fish-liver oil in both adolescence and midlife

The researchers from the University of Iceland, the Icelandic Heart Association, Harvard School of Public Health and the US National Institute on Aging said the results pointed to a life-long nutrition approach to reducing CHD risk in older women.

“With few existing studies on early-life dietary factors and CHD, our study provides important evidence for the potential preventive role of fish-liver oil consumption throughout life on the development of CHD in women. Our results suggest that moderate prolonged fish-liver oil consumption initiated in early life may be protective against the development of CHD in women,”​ they wrote.

They conceded that the data may have suffered due to the recall method used to gather data.

Source: Public Health Nutrition

Published online ahead of print, doi:10.1017/S1368980015001020

“Fish and fish-liver oil consumption in adolescence and midlife and risk of CHD in older women”

Authors: A. Haraldsdottir, J. E. Torfadottir, U. A. Valdimarsdottir, T. Aspelund, T. B. Harris, L. J. Launer, V. Gudnason and L. Steingrimsdottir

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