Fish Consumption and Depressive Symptoms in the General Population in Finland

Department of Psychiatry, University of Kuopio, Finland.
Psychiatric Services (Impact Factor: 2.41). 05/2001; 52(4):529-31. DOI: 10.1176/
Source: PubMed


Fish contains high concentrations of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Several studies have reported depletions of omega-3 fats among depressed patients, and a cross-national comparison has revealed a significant inverse correlation between annual prevalence of major depression and fish consumption. In a sample of 3,204 Finnish adults, depressive symptoms were estimated with the Beck Depression Inventory. A frequency question was used to measure fish consumption. Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted to assess the association between depression and fish consumption. After the analysis adjusted for potential confounders, the likelihood of having depressive symptoms was significantly higher among infrequent fish consumers than among frequent consumers.

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    • "It is interesting to note that stratified analyses by sex revealed a slightly stronger association in women than men in this study. Previous cross-sectional [37] [39] and longitudinal studies [31] [34] also revealed an association in women not men, although both types of study have also reported the opposite result of an association in men not women [36] [21]. There is no clear answer for this sex difference. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Emerging evidence suggests that fish consumption may have beneficial effects on mood disorders. However, no study has been reported on this issue in young adults to date. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between fish consumption and depressive symptoms in Japanese undergraduate students. Methods: The 20-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale was used to measure depressive symptoms with a cut-off score of 16. A total of 4190 completed questionnaires (from 2124 men and 2066 women) were received for analysis. Results: Multivariate logistic analysis showed that fish intake was inversely associated with risk of depressive symptoms in undergraduate students. After adjustment for possible confounders, the odds-ratios (95% confidence intervals) for fish intake 1-2 times/month, 1-2 times/week, 3-4 times/week, and almost every day (compared with "almost never") were 0.78 (0.62-0.99), 0.70 (0.56-0.87), 0.67 (0.53-0.85) and 0.65 (0.46-0.92), respectively. This association tended to be stronger in women than in men. Conclusions: Frequent fish consumption in undergraduate students seems to moderate depressive symptoms. Further research is warranted to clarify the causality.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · European Psychiatry
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    • "The BDI-II emphasizes the cognitive symptoms of depression, unlike the CES-D which emphasizes more affective symptoms. Studies using various versions of the BDI have reported associations between more depressive symptoms and lower serum ferritin levels (Vahdat Shariatpanaahi, Vahdat Shariatpanaahi, Moshtaaghi, Shahbaazi, & Abadi, 2007), and infrequent fish consumption (Tanskanen et al., 2001). "

    Full-text · Chapter · Jan 2015
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    • "Although it has long been established that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a member of the omega-3 family, can affect brain function and behaviour (Simopoulos, 2009), the precise relationship with depression is unknown. Evidence from several observational studies shows an inverse relationship between fish consumption and depression which would appear to lend support to this hypothesis, as fish is a major source of omega-3 FAs (Hibbeln, 1998, 2002; Tanskanen et al., 2001; Silvers and Scott, 2002). However, observational studies are subject to issues such as confounding and reverse causation, and intervention trials attempting to establish whether depression can be treated with omega-3 FAs have met with mixed success (Freeman et al., 2006; Rondanelli et al., 2011; Su et al., 2008; Makrides et al., 2010; Carney et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background There have been numerous studies investigating the association between omega-3 fatty acids (FAs) and depression, with mixed findings. We propose an approach which is largely free from issues such as confounding or reverse causality, to investigate this relationship using observational data from a pregnancy cohort. Methods The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) cohort collected information on FA levels from antenatal blood samples and depressive symptoms at several time points during pregnancy and the postnatal period. Conventional epidemiological analyses were used in addition to a Mendelian randomisation (MR) approach to investigate the association between levels of two omega-3 FAs (docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)) and perinatal onset depression, antenatal depression (AND) and postnatal depression (PND). Results Weak evidence of a positive association with both EPA (OR=1.07; 95% CI: 0.99–1.15) and DHA (OR=1.08; 95% CI: 0.98–1.19) with perinatal onset depression was found using a multivariable logistic regression adjusting for social class and maternal age. However, the strength of association was found to attenuate when using an MR analysis to investigate DHA. Limitations Pleiotropy is a potential limitation in MR analyses; we assume that the genetic variants included in the instrumental variable are associated only with our trait of interest (FAs) and thus cannot influence the outcome via any other pathway. Conclusions We found weak evidence of a positive association between omega-3 FAs and perinatal onset depression. However, without confirmation from the MR analysis, we are unable to draw conclusions regarding causality.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Affective Disorders
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