ISLAMABAD  - People age 65 and older who eat fish may live an average of two years longer than people who do not consume the omega-3 fatty acids found mainly in seafood, a study suggested.
People with higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids also had an overall risk of dying that was 27 percent lower, and a risk of dying from heart disease that was 35 percent lower than counterparts who had lower blood levels, said the study, Khaleej Times Reported. The research was led by scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health and was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
While other studies have demonstrated a link between omega-3 fatty acids and lower risk of heart disease, this research examined records of older people to determine any link between fish-eating and death risk. Researchers scanned 16 years of data on about 2,700 US adults aged 65 or older. Those considered for the study were not taking fish oil supplements, to eliminate any confusion over the use of supplements or dietary differences.
Those with the highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids found mainly in fish like salmon, tuna, halibut, sardines, herring and mackerel, had the lowest risk of dying from any cause, and lived an average of 2.2 years longer than those with low levels. Researchers identified docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as most strongly related to lower risk of coronary heart disease death.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) was strongly linked to lower risk of nonfatal heart attack, and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) was most strongly associated with lower risk of dying from a stroke. The findings persisted after researchers adjusted for demographic, lifestyle and diet factors.
`Our findings support the importance of adequate blood omega-3 levels for cardiovascular health, and suggest that later in life these benefits could actually extend the years of remaining life,’ said lead author Dariush Mozaffarian, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health.
`The biggest bang-for-your-buck is for going from no intake to modest intake, or about two servings of fatty fish per week,’ said Mozaffarian.
Home tests could be the key to reducing HIV spread, claim experts
Making self-testing for HIV widely available could be the answer to reducing the spread of AIDS, claim experts in a new study. A major new review of the evidence suggests that self-testing reduces much of the stigma and fear attached to the disease and could help slow its transmission. Currently, screening is often not taken up because of fear and stigma associated, Mail Online reported.
Dr Nitika Pant Pai, of McGill University in Canada, said: `Thirty years into the HIV epidemic, there is no vaccine in sight. `Treatment as a prevention strategy has been known to work, but uptake of HIV screening seems to be limited by a societal problem - HIV stigma and perceived discrimination.’
She said that access to an HIV self-testing, linked to counseling services, would help expand access to screening and reduce prejudice and negative attitudes around HIV testing. Self-tests are performed on fluid samples from the mouth in the privacy of the home, and can provide results within 20 minutes. A positive result, however, does require confirmation at a medical clinic.
Dr Pant Pai and her colleagues looked at the global evidence on self-testing strategies. They examined 21 worldwide studies and found that two distinct self-testing strategies have been tried - supervised self-testing, and unsupervised self-testing.
Dr Pant Pai said: `The preference was largely driven by the fact the oral self-tests are non-invasive, convenient, easy to swab and do not involve a finger stick or blood from your arm for a preliminary screen.