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Coronary Heart Disease EpidemiologyFrom aetiology to public health$
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Michael Marmot and Paul Elliott

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198525738

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525738.001.0001

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Fish consumption, n-3 fatty acids, and coronary heart disease

Fish consumption, n-3 fatty acids, and coronary heart disease

Chapter:
(p.264) Chapter 18 Fish consumption, n-3 fatty acids, and coronary heart disease
Source:
Coronary Heart Disease Epidemiology
Author(s):

D. Kromhout

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198525738.003.0018

Essential fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids from the n-6 family (i.e., linoleic acid and arachidonic acid) present in vegetable oils, and of the n-3 family (i.e., eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) present in seafood. These fatty acids may protect against coronary atherosclerosis and thrombosis. It is hypothesized that a balanced intake of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids is of great importance in relation to prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD). Research on n-3 fatty acids, fish consumption, and CHD was stimulated by the pioneering studies among the Inuit (Eskimos) in Greenland. This chapter begins by summarizing the results of the studies among the Inuit. The results on fish consumption and CHD mortality are then reviewed at the population and individual levels. Both observational epidemiology and experimental studies show that a small amount of fish protects against fatal CHD and sudden cardiac death. It is, therefore, recommended to eat fish (preferably fatty fish) once or twice a week.

Keywords:   CHD, cardiovascular disease, essential fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, fish

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