Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Few studies have examined longitudinal associations between fish consumption and depression; none have defined depression using a diagnostic tool. We investigated whether fish consumption was associated with fewer new depression episodes in a national study of Australian adults. In 2004-2006, 1,386 adults aged 26-36 years (38% males) completed a 127-item (9 fish items) food frequency questionnaire. Fish intake was examined continuously (times/week) and dichotomously (reference group: <2 times/week). During 2009-2011, the lifetime version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview was administered by telephone. New episodes of major depression/dysthymic disorder (since baseline) were defined using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition. During follow-up, 160 (18.8%) women and 70 (13.1%) men experienced depression. For women, each additional weekly serving of fish consumed at baseline decreased the risk of having a new depressive episode by 6% (adjusted relative risk = 0.94, 95% confidence interval: 0.87, 1.01). Women who ate fish ≥2 times/week at baseline had a 25% lower risk of depression during follow-up than those who ate fish <2 times/week (adjusted relative risk = 0.75, 95% confidence interval: 0.57, 0.99). Reverse causation was also suggested but appeared to be restricted to persons with recent depression. Fish consumption was not associated with depression in men. These findings provide further evidence that fish consumption may be beneficial for women's mental health.

Original publication

DOI

10.1093/aje/kwu050

Type

Journal article

Journal

Am J Epidemiol

Publication Date

15/05/2014

Volume

179

Pages

1228 - 1235

Keywords

depression, depressive disorders, diet, fish, longitudinal studies, Adult, Animals, Australia, Body Mass Index, Depressive Disorder, Major, Diet, Female, Fishes, Humans, Male, Risk Factors, Sex Factors, Socioeconomic Factors