Higher plasma omega-3 PUFA levels tied to better large arterial elasticity

08 Jan 2023
Higher plasma omega-3 PUFA levels tied to better large arterial elasticity

Increased plasma levels of total and individual omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) appear to be associated with higher large artery elasticity (LAE) among persons free of baseline cardiovascular disease (CVD), results of a multi-ethnic study have shown.

To address the lack of research examining the association of circulating n-3 and omega-6 (n-6) PUFAs with arterial elasticity, the investigators analysed the relationship of these PUFAs with LAE and small artery elasticity (SAE) in 6,124 participants (mean age 61.9 years, 52 percent female, 38 percent White) from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis.

Individuals with plasma phospholipid PUFAs and arterial elasticity measured at baseline were eligible for analysis. The investigators derived LAE and SAE from pulse contour analysis of the radial artery in all participants in a supine position using tonometry. They also evaluated the associations for levels of each circulating PUFA, total n-3 PUFA, and total n-6 PUFA with log-transformed LAE and SAE using linear regression models.

Each standard deviation increase in circulating levels of total n-3 PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid correlated with an increment of 0.017, 0.017, and 0.015 ml/mm Hg in LAE, respectively (p<0.01 for all). On the other hand, circulating levels of n-3 PUFA showed no significant trends with SAE.

Likewise, no significant associations were seen for n-6 PUFA levels with either LAE or SAE.

“Further understanding into differential associations of n-6 PUFAs with LAE and SAE is needed,” the investigators said.

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