People aged 65 and older who eat fish may live an average of two years longer than people who do not consume the omega-3 fatty acids found mainly in seafood, a US study suggests.
People with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood also had an overall risk of dying that was 27 percent lower, and a risk of dying from heart disease that was 35 percent lower, than counterparts who had lower levels, said the study.
The research was led by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health and was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
While other studies have demonstrated a link between omega-3 fatty acids and lower risk of heart disease, this research examined records of older people to determine any link between fish-eating and death risk.
Researchers scanned 16 years of data on about 2,700 US adults aged 65 or older. Those considered for the study were not taking fish oil supplements. Those with the highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had the lowest risk of dying from any cause, and lived an average of 2.2 years longer than those with low levels.