Eating fish can significantly reduce a man's risk of sudden death from a heart attack, according to a new study supported by the National Institute of Health and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Published in the 11 April edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, the study found that men with no evidence of prior cardiovascular disease cut their risk of sudden death by more than half simply by eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

This compounds the long-held thought of scientists that n-3 fatty acids, found in fish and fish oils, have similar benefits to drugs used to treat abnormal heart conditions.

The authors of the study concluded: "If the observed association is causal, increasing the intake of n-3 fatty acids by eating more fish or by taking supplements is an intervention that could be applied to this segment of the population at low cost and little risk."