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January 7, 1998

Fish Consumption and Sudden Cardiac Death

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Public Health Research, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands.

JAMA. 1998;279(1):65-66. doi:10.1001/jama.279.1.65

Nearly 20 years ago, Bang and coworkers1 first suggested that the low mortality rate from coronary heart disease among Greenland Eskimos compared with Danes may be due to their high consumption of seafood. Five years later, in a prospective cohort study, Kromhout et al2 showed that consumption of fish once or twice a week was associated with a 50% reduction in coronary heart disease mortality. Since that time, the majority (but not all) of 14 additional cohort studies that have been published have shown a protective effect from the consumption of a small amount of fish.3 The controversy surrounding the association between fish consumption and coronary heart disease was enhanced by the publication of negative results from 2 large cohort studies from the United States4,5 and the inconsistent findings from 3 other studies.6-8