Dietary exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls through the consumption of fish appears to be associated with an increased risk of heart failure in both women and men whilst an intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a reduced risk

In May 2019 researchers from Sweden published the results of their study to assess the association between dietary exposure of polychlorinated biphenyls and risk of heart failure, taking into consideration the dietary intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The researchers stated that the beneficial effects of fish consumption on heart failure may be modified by contaminants in fish, with polychlorinated biphenyls being of particular concern as they have been associated with well-established risk factors of heart failure. A total of 32,952 women and 36,546 men, with no history of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, were included in the study. Information on dietary intake of polychlorinated biphenyls and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) was collected via a food frequency questionnaire at the start of the study. During an average of 12 years follow-up, 2,736 diagnoses of heart failure in women and 3,128 diagnoses in men were made. Results showed that dietary exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls through the consumption of fish was associated with an increased risk of heart failure in both women and men, whilst an intake of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a reduced risk.

Åkesson A et al. Dietary exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and risk of heart failure – A population-based prospective cohort study. Environ Int. 2019 May;126:1-6

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