Intake of very long chain n-3 fatty acids from fish and the incidence of heart failure: the Rotterdam Study

S. Dijkstra, I.A. Brouwer, F.J.A. van Rooij, A. Hofman, J.C.M. Witteman, J.M. Geleijnse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Evidence is accumulating for a cardioprotective effect of fish or its n-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). We examined EPA plus DHA and fish intake in relation to incident heart failure in the population-based Rotterdam Study. Methods and results: The analysis comprised 5299 subjects (41% men, age 68 years) free from heart failure for whom dietary data were available. During 11.4 years of follow-up, 669 subjects developed heart failure. The relative risk (RR) of heart failure in the top vs. bottom quintile of EPA plus DHA intake was 0.89 (95% CI 0.69–1.14), after adjustment for lifestyle and dietary factors. For fish intakes 20 g/day, the RR was 0.96 (0.78–1.18) compared with no fish intake. In sex-specific analysis, a high EPA plus DHA intake tended to be protective in women (RR = 0.75, 0.54–1.04) but not in men (RR = 1.00, 0.73–1.36). An inverse association for EPA plus DHA was also observed in diabetics (RR = 0.58, 0.32–1.06), which was borderline statistically significant. Conclusion: Our findings do not support a major role for fish intake in the prevention of heart failure. The potentially protective effect of EPA plus DHA in diabetic patients, however, warrants further investigation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)922-928
JournalEuropean Journal of Heart Failure
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • atrial-fibrillation
  • general-population
  • disease mortality
  • risk
  • consumption
  • prognosis
  • humans
  • update
  • supplementation
  • prevalence

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Intake of very long chain n-3 fatty acids from fish and the incidence of heart failure: the Rotterdam Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this