The aim of this study was to determine fish consumption habits and contaminant exposures associated with adverse cardiovascular outcomes among older male anglers.
One hundred fifty-four men aged 50 years and older living and fishing in Wisconsin completed a detailed survey and provided hair and blood samples. Associations between fish consumption and body burdens of several contaminants, with self-reported cardiovascular outcomes, were evaluated.
Consuming fish species with higher methyl mercury content was positively associated with odds of angina, coronary heart disease (CHD), or heart attack, while consuming fattier species was negatively associated with high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Total mercury in blood was associated with 27% higher odds of heart attack, and certain classes of polychlorinated biphenyls were positively associated with CHD.
Total mercury exposures may affect cardiovascular outcomes. Educational interventions promoting consumption of fish low in methyl mercury among older male anglers are needed.