BACKGROUND: Literature examining the relationship of circulating omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids [n-3(ω-3) and n-6 (ω-6) PUFAs] and arterial elasticity in large cohort-based populations are lacking. We investigated the association of circulating ω-3and ω-6 PUFAs with large artery elasticity (LAE) and small artery elasticity (SAE) in participants from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
METHODS: A total of 6124 participants (mean age 61.9; 52% female; 38% White, 27% Black, 22% Hispanic, and 13% Chinese-American) with plasma phospholipid PUFAs and arterial elasticity measured at baseline were included. LAE and SAE were derived from pulse contour analysis of the radial artery in all subjects in a supine position using tonometry. Linear regression models were used to determine associations for levels of (1) each circulating fatty acid, (2) total ω-3PUFAs, and (3) total ω-6 PUFAs with log-transformed LAE and SAE.
RESULTS: Each standard deviation (SD) increment in circulating levels of total ω-3 PUFAs, eicosapentaenoic acid, and docosahexaenoic acid were associated with a 0.017 ml/mmHg, 0.017 ml/mmHg, and 0.015 ml/mmHg higher LAE respectively (p values all <0.01). No significant trends were observed for ω-3 PUFAs levels with SAE.22 Similarly, no significant trends were observed for ω-6 PUFA levels with either LAE or SAE.
CONCLUSIONS: In a multi-ethnic cohort of individuals free of baseline cardiovascular disease, higher plasma levels of total and individual ω-3 PUFAs were associated with an increased LAE. Further understanding into differential associations of ω-6 PUFAs with LAE and SAE is needed.
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