Associations between fish intake and the metabolic syndrome and its components among middle-aged men and women: the Hordaland Health Study
In epidemiologic studies, the relationship between fish consumption and the metabolic syndrome
(MetS) have been inconclusive and sex differences reported. The aim was to investigate
associations between fish intake and the MetS in a cross-sectional study of men and women. Fish
intake, waist circumference, triglycerides (TG), HDL-C, glucose and blood pressure were assessed
among 2874 men and women (46–49 y) in the Hordaland Health Study (1997–1999). Fatty fish
intake was inversely associated with TG in men only; mean difference in TG between highest and
lowest quartile of fatty fish intake was –0.33 mmol/L (95% CI: –0.51, –0.15). Lean fish intake was
inversely associated with TG in women only; mean difference in TG between highest and lowest
quartile of lean fish intake was –0.23 mmol/L (95% CI: –0.34, –0.11). Fatty fish intake was positively
associated with serum HDL-C in both men and women. Total fish intake was inversely associated
with MetS; adjusted OR 0.75 (95% CI 0.57, 0.97). Higher fish intake was associated with lower odds
of having MetS possibly driven by associations of higher fish intake with lower TG and higher
HDL-C. The findings of differential associations by sex needs to be confirmed and possible
biologic mechanisms explored.
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