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Fish on prescription for heart attack patients.

A REMOTE doctor's surgery is pioneering a new treatment for heart disease - fish on prescription.

GPs in Stromness, in the Orkney Islands, are offering cured herring to people who have had heart attacks after studies showed eating oily fish reduces the risk of a second attack.

It is thought to be the first time the rollmop herrings, more often seen in a salad, have been dispensed by a surgery in Britain.

The fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which has been shown to lower blood fat levels, reduce blood pressure and decrease the risk of thrombosis.

A spokeswoman for Orkney Health Board said the pounds 3,000 cost of the pilot scheme was being met by the board.

Herring fishing is one of the area's traditional industries and cured rollmop herrings are a major export.

But the fish, usually sold in supermarkets in marinades, are now part of a drive to get heart attack victims to eat healthy food, quit smoking and take up exercise.

Patient Stan Headleys, who suffered a major heart attack at the age of 47, said: "I actually thought the doctor was joking, but I soon realised he was very, very serious."
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 8, 2000
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