Study participants (70,495) were members of a cohort study (the Vitamins and Lifestyle Study) who were residents of Washington State aged 50–76 years at the start of the study (2000–2002). Participants were followed for mortality through 2006 (3,051 deaths). Higher combined intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) from diet and fish oil supplements was associated with an 18% decreased risk of total mortality and a 23% decreased risk of mortality from cancer. A smaller reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular disease of 13% was also seen. These results suggest that intake of long-chain ω-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of total mortality and cancer-specific mortality.
The researchers concluded:
“In this prospective cohort study of US men and women, we found that greater consumption of the long-chain Omega-3 PUFAs EPA and DHA was associated with an 18% reduced risk of mortality from all causes and a 23% decrease in mortality from cancer.”