Background The association between fish consumption and risk of depression is controversial. We performed a meta-analysis to evaluate the association.
Methods A literature search was performed in PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science database for all relevant studies up to March 2015. We pooled the relative risks (RRs) with 95% CIs from individual studies with random effects model, and conducted meta-regression to explore potential sources of heterogeneity. Publication bias was estimated by Egger's test and the funnel plot.
Results A total of 26 studies involving 150 278 participants were included in the present meta-analysis. The pooled RR of depression for the highest versus lowest consumption of fish was 0.83 (95% CI 0.74 to 0.93). The findings remained significant in the cohort studies (RR=0.84, 95% CI 0.75 to 0.94, n=10) as well as in the cross-sectional studies (RR=0.82, 95% CI 0.68 to 1.00, n=16). When men and women were analysed separately, a significant inverse association was also observed. There was no evidence of publication bias.
Conclusions This meta-analysis indicates that high-fish consumption can reduce the risk of depression.