March 21, 2011
Eating Fish and Eye Disease
The New York Times has reported that eating fish in a regular diet has more benefits. The article explains that the Harvard Women’s Health study says people that eat fish once a week had a 42 percent less likelihood to develop macular degeneration that was age related than people that ate fish less than once a month. Macular degeneration is an inflammatory disease and fish has the omega 3 fatty acid that reduces the inflammation (Rabin, 2011).
The study was based on 39,876 women that were in their mid-life which was 99 percent of these women participating. The participants were handed a questionnaire in 1993 that had a detailed food frequency to fill out. These questionnaires needed these women to list an average of consumption over the past year of different foods with a specific portion size. These foods that needed to be listed were how much of tuna fish, mackerel, salmon, sardines, bluefish, and swordfish were eaten. These women were told to record how much, on an average, was eaten over this past year. The study took 10 years to follow up and only 235 of the 39,876 people developed macular degeneration. This is an eye disease that is progressive and is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in the elderly population (Rabin, 2011).
The study findings were that the intakes of w-3 and w-6 fatty acids along with other dietary fats had been adjusted for the total of the energy intake using the residual methods. The intakes were categorized into tertiles that enhanced the stability estimates. The categories were an overall basis on the distribution of nutrients of all the women’s intakes. Tertiles were also adjusted for trans-unsaturated fat, saturated fat, and monounsaturated fat. 2 sided P-values and 95 percent of CI’s were also calculated. Also performed were the tests of interaction to evaluate the null hypothesis. These tests were of no differences in the association of the w-3 and the w-6 fatty acids (Rabin, 2011).
The women that reported eating one or more servings of fish a week had a 42 percent less chance of developing macular degeneration than the women that ate less once a month per serving of fish. The most benefits that were found were by eating dark meat fish and canned tuna. These studies are prone to have a measurement of error which tends to have an underestimate in any association of diet with the risks of AMD. Any changes of the dietary intakes would likely be nondifferential to the AMD end point and would have a true association. The end point was based primarily on the self report of the participants. The data was based on a large population of many different women that had no prior diagnosis of any AMD’s and that regular intake of EPA, DHA, and fish had a significant reduction of risk of AMD. This appears to be the strongest evidence that support the role of the w-3 fatty acids and reduced the number of people that had advanced AMD (Rabin, 2011).
The findings in this article were appropriate in the findings that eating fish once a week reduced the risk of the development of macular degeneration and slowed the progression of some that had early signs of the disease. The hypothesis along with the P-value that was used played a big part in determining the out come of this study. In conclusion, this study has proven that eating fish once a week can and will help to prevent the eye disease Macular Degeneration (Rabin, 2011).
Rabin, R. C. (2011, March 17). Diet: Eating Fish Found to Ward Off Eye Disease. New York Times, p. 1.