A new study published inClinical Nutritionsuggests adults between the ages of 45-84 with type 2 diabetes may have a lower risk for coronary heart disease-related (CHD) deaths and myocardial infraction (MI) related incidences if they consume fish.

The men and women, who researchers analyzed from two population-based cohorts, the Swedish Mammography Cohort and the Cohort of Swedish Men, were followed from 1998 through 2012. The 2,225 participants completed food frequency questionnaires, which included reporting their average consumption frequency during the previous year of finfish (herring/mackerel,salmon/whitefish/char and cod/saithe/fish fingers) and shellfish (shrimp/crayfish/etc.) Participants also completed questions of monthly consumption of different fried foods and included data on “height, weight physical activity, education, smoking habits, alcohol consumption, history of high cholesterol and hypertension, family history of MI, and use of aspirin and fish oil supplements.”

To estimate an overall quality of diet, researchers calculated a Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension component score, which has previously been associated with type 2 diabetes risk and currently does not include fish intake. Points were given for high intake of “fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy and whole grains, and for low intake of sodium, sweetened beverages, and red and processed meats.”

Researchers also used Cox proportional hazard models to estimate hazard ratios for MI, stroke, total mortality and CHD mortality by categories of total fish (3 servings/month; 1–2 servings/week; 2–3 servings/week; 3 servings/week), and individual fish and shellfish items (1 serving/month; 1–3 servings/month; 1 serving/week).

During a mean follow up (11.8 years) 333 incident myocardial infraction events and 321 incident stroke events were ascertained. During another mean follow up (13.2 years) 771 deaths occurred, with 154 underlying causes being from coronary heart disease.

At the end of the study, researchers found hazard ratios were the lowest for those who consumed 1–2 servings a week and 2–3 servings a week than those who consumed 3 or fewer servings a month. Regarding CHD deaths, researchers found 1-2 or fewer servings a week was associated with a lower risk.

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 2/9/2017