How Does Fish Consumption Impact CVD Risk?

Consuming 2 servings of fish weekly may decrease the risk of major cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and mortality in individuals with pre-existing CVD, according to the results of a recent study.

The researchers utilized data from 4 cohort studies to conduct a pooled analysis which included 191,558 participants from 58 countries from January 2020 to June 2020. The 4 cohort studies included the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, as well as 3 other international prospective studies. Of the total participants, 51,231 had vascular disease.

Participants were required to use food frequency questionnaires to record their fish consumption, and type of fish was recorded in 1 of the cohort studies of individuals with vascular disease.

The results indicated that participants with vascular disease who consumed at least 175 g/wk of fish had the lowest risk of major CVD, total mortality, and sudden cardiac death. This result is in comparison to those who consumed 50 g/mo or lower and is not applicable to the general population. The relationship between fish intake and major CVD events was affected by the participants’ CVD status.  Participants who consumed 350 g/wk or higher were not found to have a further decreased risk. In addition, a lower risk of CVD was significantly associated with fish that contained higher amounts of ω-3 fatty acids.

“Findings of this pooled analysis of 4 cohort studies indicated that a minimal fish intake of 175 g (approximately 2 servings) weekly is associated with lower risk of major CVD and mortality among patients with prior CVD but not in general populations,” the researchers concluded. “The consumption of fish (especially oily fish) should be evaluated in randomized trials of clinical outcomes among people with vascular disease.”


—Leigh Precopio



Mohan D, Mente A, Dehghan M, et al. Associations of fish consumption with risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality among individuals with or without vascular disease from 58 countries. JAMA Intern Med. Published online March 8, 2021.