Effects of Fish Oil on Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease Minireview Based on a Doctoral Thesis
By cardiovascular disease (CVD) is meant in the following mainly ischaetnic CVD, i.e. coronary heart disease (CHD), cerebrovascular disease, hypertension and peripheral vascular disease. Although the incidence of CVD has shown some decline during the last decades in many countries, it is still the most common cause of death in the middle-aged and elderly in most Western societies. It is a major contributor to chronic debilitation and has enormous economic consequences. In most industrialised countries CVD is closely related to the life-style, and is therefore highly modifiable. One example of populations with a low rate of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) is that of the Mediterranean countries, where there is epidemiological support for a protective role of monounsaturated fatty acids, e.g. oleic acid. Other examples, highlighted in this thesis, are the Greenland Eskimos and coastland Japanese, where the incidence of atherosclerosis and cardiac death is low (92,108). Early epidemiological investigations in Eskimos suggested that this was due to the high consumption of (n-3) fatty acids from seafood (8). Since then a large number of epidemiological, clinical and experimental studies on these fatty acids have been published.
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