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Open Biomark J. 2008;1:1-6.

Determinants of Blood Cell Omega-3 Fatty Acid Content.

Author information

  • 1Division of Epidemiology, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although red blood cell eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) plus docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content (the Omega-3 Index) predicts cardiovascular death, the factors determining the Index are unknown.

METHODS:

In 704 outpatients, we undertook an investigation of the clinical determinants of the Index.

RESULTS:

Factors associated with the Index in decreasing order were: EPA+DHA supplement use, fish consumption frequency, triglyceride level, age, high cholesterol history, and smoking. These factors explained 59% of Index variability, with capsules/fish intake together accounting for 47%. The Index increased by 13% (p< 0.0001) for each serving level increase in fish intake and EPA+DHA supplementation correlated with a 58% increase (p< 0.0001) regardless of background fish intake (p=0.25; test for interaction). A 100 mg/dL decrease in serum triglycerides was associated with a 15% higher (p<0.0001) Index.

CONCLUSIONS:

The intake of EPA+DHA-rich foods and supplements principally determined the Omega-3 Index, but explained only about half of the variability.

PMID:
19953197
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2785093
Free PMC Article

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