Research suggests that consuming omega-3s is associated with a lower risk of stroke in women, and some reports suggest that men who consume fatty fish regularly may also have a lower risk of stroke. Not all research studies agree, however, and some reports suggest that men who consume fatty fish regularly may also have a lower risk of stroke. Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and are the most common cause of long-term disabilities. It occurs more frequently in people who smoke or have high blood pressure. The most common type of stroke in Western populations is the thrombotic type, in which a blood clot or severe narrowing of a cerebral artery blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to a part of the brain.
Previous evidence from a large study in Swedish women suggested that women 50+ who ate more than 3 servings of lean fish per week had a 33% lower chance of developing a stroke compared with women who ate little or no fish.
In a new report from this study, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, investigators wondered if the consumption of fatty fish or seafood omega-3s was linked to a lower risk of stroke. Women with the highest intakes of seafood omega-3s had a 16% lower risk of all types of stroke compared with women in the lowest fifth of intake. Women who ate the most fish consumed an average of 730 mg of seafood omega-3s per day, 5 times more than the 144 mg of seafood omega-3s per day consumed by women in the lowest group.
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