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Fish Consumption Differences May Affect Stroke Disparities

African-Americans, those in Stroke Belt and Buckle less likely to eat enough nonfried fish

THURSDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The amount of fish consumed, and preferences for preparation (i.e., fried versus nonfried), vary regionally and by race and may be a factor behind disparities in stroke, according to research published online Dec. 22 in Neurology.

Fadi Nahab, M.D., of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed dietary data for 21,675 people aged 45 and older, with oversampling from the southeastern Stroke Belt and Buckle and African-Americans, to examine racial and geographic differences in fish consumption. The researchers defined adequate intake of nonfried fish as at least two servings weekly.

The investigators found that 5,022 (23 percent) ate two or more weekly servings of nonfried fish. Factors associated with inadequate fish intake included Stroke Belt and Stroke Buckle residence (odds ratios, 0.83 and 0.89, respectively, versus non-Belt residence). African-American race versus white race and residence in the Stroke Belt and Stroke Buckle were associated with consuming two or more weekly servings of fried fish (odds ratios, 3.59, 1.32, and 1.17, respectively). The authors note that these differences in fish consumption may have a role in racial and geographic stroke disparities.

"Our cross-sectional study found that, while African-American subjects consumed more total fish than white subjects, most of the additional consumption was in the form of fried fish. In addition, participants living in the Stroke Belt and Stroke Buckle were less likely to consume ≥2 weekly servings of nonfried fish but more likely to consume ≥2 weekly servings of fried fish than those living elsewhere. These differences remained evident even after adjusting for potential confounders," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies. Another author disclosed ties to General Mills, which provided funding for the study.

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