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J Hum Hypertens. 2012 Mar;26(3):178-87. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2011.7. Epub 2011 Feb 10.

Polyunsaturated fatty acid intake and blood pressure in adolescents.

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Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, West Perth, Western Australia, Australia.


Evidence that intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may modify blood pressure (BP) is generally limited to middle-aged or hypertensive populations. This study examined cross-sectional associations between BP and dietary intake of PUFAs in 814 adolescents aged 13-15 years participating in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Fatty acid intakes were assessed using 3-day diet records and resting BP was determined using multiple oscillometric readings. In multivariate regression models, systolic BP was inversely associated with intakes of polyunsaturated (b=-0.436, P<0.01), omega-3 (b=-2.47, P=0.02), omega-6 (b=-0.362, P=0.04) and long chain omega-3 fatty acids (b=-4.37, P=0.04) in boys. Diastolic BP and mean arterial pressure were inversely associated with intakes of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in boys (b=-3.93, P=0.01, b=-4.05, P=0.01, respectively). For specific long-chain omega-3s, significant inverse associations were observed between eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid, such as systolic BP decreasing by 4.7 mm Hg (95% CI -9.3 to -0.1) for a quarter gram increase in EPA, but no significant associations were observed with docosapentaenoic acid. No significant associations were observed in girls, or with the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Our results suggest that gender may moderate relationships between fatty acid intake and BP in adolescence.

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