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High Fish Consumption Linked to Atrial Fibrillation

Eating fish more than five times per week linked to higher risk compared with infrequent consumption

THURSDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Men who frequently consume fish may be at greater risk of developing atrial fibrillation than men who rarely eat fish, according to research presented this week at Heart Rhythm 2006, the Heart Rhythm Society's 27th Annual Scientific Sessions in Boston.

Anthony Aizer, M.D., of the New York University Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues studied 17,679 male physicians from the Physicians' Health Study who were not taking omega-3 fatty acid dietary supplements at baseline. In 1983, subjects reported their fish consumption and in 1998 reported if they had been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

The researchers found that 1,253 (7.1 percent) of subjects developed atrial fibrillation. After adjusting for age, treatment assignment, cardiovascular disease risk factors and lifestyle habits, they found that men who ate fish more than five times per week had an atrial fibrillation relative risk of 1.46 compared to men who ate fish less than once per month. The relative risks for men who ate fish two to five times per week, one to two times per week, and one to three times per month were 1.32, 1.17 and 1.21, respectively.

"The message of this study is not to stop eating fish," Aizer said in a statement. "Atrial fibrillation is a complex condition that requires the interaction of a number of risk factors to develop. Fish may have different effects on different people."


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