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Geriatrics - Mental Health - Public Health and Epidemiology

No Association between Fish Intake and Depression in over 15,000 Older Adults from Seven Low and Middle Income Countries–The 10/66 Study
Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Author: Emiliano Albanese et al.

by Emiliano Albanese, Flavia L. Lombardo, Alan D. Dangour, Mariella Guerra, Daisy Acosta, Yueqin Huang, K. S. Jacob, Juan de Jesus Llibre Rodriguez, Aquiles Salas, Claudia Schönborn, Ana Luisa Sosa, Joseph Williams, Martin J. Prince, Cleusa P. Ferri


Evidence on the association between fish consumption and depression is inconsistent and virtually non-existent from low- and middle-income countries. Using a standard protocol, we aim to assess the association of fish consumption and late-life depression in seven low- and middle-income countries.


We used cross-sectional data from the 10/66 cohort study and applied two diagnostic criteria for late-life depression to assess the association between categories of weekly fish consumption and depression according to ICD-10 and the EURO-D depression symptoms scale scores, adjusting for relevant confounders. All-catchment area surveys were carried out in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Peru, Mexico, China, and India, and over 15,000 community-dwelling older adults (65+) were sampled. Using Poisson models the adjusted association between categories of fish consumption and ICD-10 depression was positive in India (p for trend?=?0.001), inverse in Peru (p?=?0.025), and not significant in all other countries. We found a linear inverse association between fish consumption categories and EURO-D scores only in Cuba (p for trend ?=?0.039) and China (p<0.001); associations were not significant in all other countries. Between-country heterogeneity was marked for both ICD-10 (I2>61%) and EURO-D criteria (I2>66%).


The associations of fish consumption with depression in large samples of older adults varied markedly across countries and by depression diagnosis and were explained by socio-demographic and lifestyle variables. Experimental studies in these settings are needed to confirm our findings.