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Wednesday, 17 January, 2001, 00:42 GMT
Eating fish 'cuts strokes'
Man on exercise machine
Eating more fish can cut the rate of strokes
Eating more fish each week can help cut the risks of having a stroke, say researchers.

Scientists found that eating fish five times a week can cut the chances of having most forms of stroke by more than half.

The Stroke Association has welcomed the findings and has called on the nation to increase its intake of fish, particularly oily fish like herring, mackerel, tuna and sardines.

The study by the Channing Laboratory, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, focuses on women, but the Stroke Association say it can be applied to men as well.

The research, published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), followed nearly 80,000 women over the course of 14 years and clearly showed that women who ate more fish had less strokes, particularly those caused by clots.

Less strokes

Researchers said: "Compared with women who ate fish less than once per month, those with higher intakes of fish had a lower risk of total stroke."

Perhaps the closest some of us come to eating fish is battered cod on a Friday evening

Eoin Redahan, Stroke Association

The study also showed that even women not taking aspirin to thin the blood, could reduce their risks if they upped their increase of fish.

Women who ate fish one to three times a week had a 7% lower risk of stroke than those who ate it less than once a month.

Those who ate fish once a week had a 22% reduction in risk; there was a 27% reduction for those eating it 3-4 times a week and this rose to 52% for those who ate fish five or more times a week.

But the study found no links between the consumption of fish and the risk of hemorrhagic strokes.

"Excellent news"

The Stroke Association said the study is "excellent news" in the battle against stroke and urged both men and women to start eating more fish.

Eoin Redahan, of the Stroke Association said the research backs calls for people to adopt a more healthy diet, including not only more fish but more fruit and vegetables as well. He said this would help improve health of both men and women.

Types of oily fish

"I would suggest that although this was carried out on women that there would also be benefits, although not proven, for men as well,' he said.

Mr Redahan added that although the study did not specify the type of fish eaten by the women in the study that he suspected it would be oily fish.

"Perhaps the closest some of us come to eating fish is battered cod on a Friday evening, but we would suggest they are not talking about deep fried fish, but fried or grilled fish, he said.

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06 Jan 01 | Health
Alcohol 'cuts strokes in women'
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