Fish intake is associated with lower cardiovascular risk in a Mediterranean population: Prospective results from the Moli-sani study

M. Bonaccio, E. Ruggiero, A. Di Castelnuovo, S. Costanzo, M. Persichillo, A. De Curtis, C. Cerletti, M. B. Donati, G. de Gaetano, L. Iacoviello, L. Iacoviello, M. B. Donati, G. de Gaetano, J. Vermylen, I. De Paula Carrasco, S. Giampaoli, A. Spagnuolo, D. Assanelli, V. Centritto, P. SpagnuoloD. Staniscia, F. Zito, A. Bonanni, C. Cerletti, A. De Curtis, A. Di Castelnuovo, R. Lorenzet, A. Mascioli, M. Olivieri, D. Rotilio, M. Bonaccio, S. Costanzo, F. Gianfagna, M. Giacci, A. Padulo, D. Petraroia, S. Magnacca, F. Marracino, M. Spinelli, C. Silvestri, G. dell'Elba, C. Grippi, F. De Lucia, B. Vohnout, F. Zito, M. Persichillo, A. Arcari, D. Cugino, A. Ferri, M. Mignogna, Moli-sani study Investigators, Moli-sani study Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims Fish consumption reportedly reduces the risk of heart disease, but the evidence of cardiovascular advantages associated with fish intake within Mediterranean cohorts is limited. The aim of this study was to test the association between fish intake and risk of composite coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke in a large population-based cohort adhering to Mediterranean Diet. Methods and results Prospective analysis on 20,969 subjects free from cardiovascular disease at baseline, enrolled in the Moli-sani study (2005–2010). Food intake was recorded by the Italian version of the EPIC food frequency questionnaire. Hazard ratios were calculated by using multivariable Cox-proportional hazard models. During a median follow-up of 4.3 years, a total of 352 events occurred (n of CHD = 287 and n of stroke = 66). After adjustment for a large panel of covariates, fish intake ≥4 times per week was associated with 40% reduced risk of composite CHD and stroke (HR = 0.60; 95%CI 0.40–0.90), and with 40% lower risk of CHD (HR = 0.60; 95%CI 0.38–0.94) as compared with subjects in the lowest category of intake (<2 times/week). A similar trend of protection was found for stroke risk although results were not significant (HR = 0.62; 95%CI 0.26–1.51). When fish types were considered, protection against the composite outcome and CHD was confined to fatty fish intake. Conclusions Fish intake was associated with reduced risk of composite fatal and non-fatal CHD and stroke in a general Mediterranean population. The favourable association was likely to be driven by fatty fish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-873
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2017


  • Cardiovascular risk
  • Cerebrovascular events
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Fatty fish
  • Fish intake
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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