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Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 16;6:28165. doi: 10.1038/srep28165.

N-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of all-cause mortality among general populations: a meta-analysis.

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Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Soochow University, Suzhou, China.
Department of Nutrition, the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.
DSM Nutrition Products, Human Nutrition and Health, Kaiseraugst, Switzerland.
DSM Nutrition Products, Human Nutrition and Health, Beijing, China.


Prospective observational studies have shown inconsistent associations of dietary or circulating n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) with risk of all-cause mortality. A meta-analysis was performed to evaluate the associations. Potentially eligible studies were identified by searching PubMed and EMBASE databases. The summary relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using the random-effects model. Eleven prospective studies involving 371 965 participants from general populations and 31 185 death events were included. The summary RR of all-cause mortality for high-versus-low n-3 LCPUFA intake was 0.91 (95% CI: 0.84-0.98). The summary RR for eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) intake was 0.83 (95% CI: 0.75-0.92) and 0.81 (95% CI: 0.74-0.95), respectively. In the dose-response analysis, each 0.3 g/d increment in n-3 LCPUFA intake was associated with 6% lower risk of all-cause mortality (RR = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.89-0.99); and each 1% increment in the proportions of circulating EPA and DHA in total fatty acids in blood was associated with 20% (RR = 0.80, 95% CI: 0.65-0.98) and 21% (RR = 0.79, 95% CI: 0.63-0.99) decreased risk of all-cause mortality, respectively. Moderate to high heterogeneity was observed across our anlayses. Our findings suggest that both dietary and circulating LCPUFA are inversely associated with all-cause mortality.

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