Healthy fish, healthy hearts

Thursday, August 5, 2004

From wire reports

Baked, broiled or deep-fried -- how you take your fish might affect how well your heart performs.

Seniors who ate tuna or other broiled or baked fish from one to four times a week had a 28 percent lower risk of developing an irregular heartbeat than those who ate fish less than once a month, according to a recent study.

The study was in the online version of the journal Circulation.

"We do need to eat fish regularly because we can get a lot of benefits in terms of cardiovascular disease prevention," said Dr. Ka He, an assistant professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, who was not involved in the study. "But also we should pay attention to the cooking process or types of fish."

People who ate healthfully prepared fish five or more times a week lowered their risk of developing a heart condition called atrial fibrillation by about one-third. Eating fried fish or fish sandwiches did not reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation, the study found.

Researchers said the benefit to the heart might come from omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, such as salmon and tuna, that are commonly broiled or baked.

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