A new study indicates that consuming certain types of fish could lead to a higher risk of heart disease.

Researchers have pinpointed a link between mercury and heart disease, and highlighted the fact that some fish contains high levels of mercury. These include king mackerel, marlin, shark and swordfish. Lower grade fresh or frozen tuna can also have high levels of mercury.

The researchers recommended that consumers think about not eating this fish. The UK Food Standards Agency has already recommended that children and pregnant women should avoid eating these types of fish, as there is concern that mercury can harm the nervous system in unborn children, and lead to poisoning in young children.

The latest study, which is published in The New England Journal of Medicine, examined more than 1400 men from eight European countries. It was found that men who had suffered a heart attack had 15% higher mercury levels. The main cause of mercury exposure is believed to be eating fish.

The researchers stressed that the concerns and recommendations related only to these particular types of fish, not least since the Omega 3 fatty acids in fish are thought to protect against heart disease.