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Ann Rheum Dis. 2017 Jan;76(1):147-152. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-209154. Epub 2016 May 17.

Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with a lower prevalence of autoantibodies in shared epitope-positive subjects at risk for rheumatoid arthritis.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, Colorado, USA.
2
Division of Rheumatology, University of Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, USA.
3
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.
4
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, Seattle, Washington, USA.
5
Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Manhasset, New York, USA.
6
Veteran Affairs Nebraska Western Iowa Health Care System and University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.
7
Scripps Health, La Jolla, California, USA.
8
National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado, USA.
9
Department of Biostatistics and Informatics, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, Colorado, USA.
10
Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Previously, we found that omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FAs) were inversely associated with anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) positivity in participants at risk for future rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We investigated whether n-3 FAs were also associated with rheumatoid factor (RF) positivity and whether these associations were modified by shared epitope (SE) positivity.

METHODS:

The Studies of the Etiology of RA (SERA) cohort includes RA-free participants who are at increased risk for RA. We conducted a nested case-control study (n=136) to determine the association between RF and anti-CCP2 positivity and n-3 FA percentage in erythrocyte membranes (n-3 FA% in red blood cells (RBCs)). Additionally, in the baseline visit of the SERA cohort (n=2166), we evaluated the association between reported n-3 FA supplement use and prevalence of RF and anti-CCP2. We assessed SE positivity as an effect modifier.

RESULTS:

In the case-control study, increasing n-3 FA% in RBCs was inversely associated with RF positivity in SE-positive participants (OR 0.27, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.79), but not SE-negative participants. Similar associations were seen with anti-CCP positivity in SE-positive participants (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.20 to 0.89), but not SE-negative participants. In the SERA cohort at baseline, n-3 FA supplement use was associated with a lower prevalence of RF positivity in SE-positive participants (OR 0.32, 95% CI 0.12 to 0.82), but not SE-negative participants; similar but non-significant trends were observed with anti-CCP2.

CONCLUSIONS:

The potential protective effect of n-3 FAs on RA-related autoimmunity may be most pronounced in those who exhibit HLA class II genetic susceptibility to RA.

KEYWORDS:

Autoantibodies; Epidemiology; Rheumatoid Arthritis

PMID:
27190099
PMCID:
PMC5371398
DOI:
10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-209154
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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