High intake of Omega 3 fatty acids is proven to decrease the risk of developing heart disease, including congestive heart failure, heart attack, and stroke. Fish oil is one source of Omega 3 fatty acids, as is regular consumption of fish. To date there have been no studies relating the consumption of fish and congestive heart failure.
The Journal of the American College of Cardiology published a study in June of 2005 that compared the dietary intake of fish with the incidence of congestive heart failure (CHF). The study was conducted over 12 years with complete follow-up.
A total of 4,738 adults over the age of 65 who were free of congestive heart failure at time of enrollment completed the study. Fish intake from dietary intake was determined by self-report on food questionnaires over the 12 years.
At completion of the study a total of 955 participants developed CHF. The researchers found that dietary intake of fish was inversely associated with incidence of CHF, with the exception of fish that was fried. Fish that was steamed, broiled, grilled, or cured had favorable effects on the risk of developing CHF.
Results showed that those participants who had an average intake of fish 1-2 times per week had a 20% lower risk of developing CHF compared to individuals who only had fish once a month or less. Those with a higher intake of 3-4 times per week had a 31% reduction in risk, and fish intake five or more times a week was associated with a 32% decrease in risk of developing CHF.
In conclusion, weekly consumption of fish is associated with a 20% reduction in risk for developing congestive heart failure. This research supports previous evidence that high intake of omega 3 fatty acids is associated with a decrease risk of developing congestive heart failure.