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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Dec 25;16(1). pii: E43. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16010043.

Relationship between Serum Omega-3 Fatty Acid and Asthma Endpoints.

Author information

1
Occupational Medicine Division and Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health Research, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Observatory, 7925 Cape Town, South Africa. shahieda.adams@uct.ac.za.
2
Molecular Allergy Research Laboratory, School of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Douglas, QLD 4814, Australia. andreas.lopata@jcu.edu.au.
3
Centre of Excellence for Nutrition, North-West University, Potchefstroom 2520, South Africa. Marius.Smuts@nwu.ac.za.
4
Occupational Medicine Division and Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health Research, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Observatory, 7925 Cape Town, South Africa. roslynn.baatjies@uct.ac.za.
5
Department of Environmental and Occupational Studies, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Cape Town 7535, South Africa. roslynn.baatjies@uct.ac.za.
6
Occupational Medicine Division and Centre for Environmental and Occupational Health Research, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Observatory, 7925 Cape Town, South Africa. Mohamed.Jeebhay@uct.ac.za.

Abstract

Recent studies have highlighted the potential protective role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) in asthma. This study aimed at determining the association between seafood intake, serum PUFA composition and clinical endpoints of asthma in adults. A cross-sectional study of 642 subjects used the European Committee Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) questionnaire, skin prick tests, spirometry and methacholine challenge tests following ATS guidelines. Sera was analysed for n-3 and n-6 PUFA composition. Subjects had a mean age of 34 years, were largely female (65%) and 51% were current smokers. While 99% reported fish consumption, rock lobster, mussels, squid and abalone were also consumed less frequently. The prevalence of asthma symptoms was 11%, current asthma (ECRHS definition) was 8% and non-specific bronchial hyperresponsiveness (NSBH) was much higher (26%) In adjusted models the n-3 PUFAs 20:5 (EPA) and 22:5 (DPA) were significantly associated with a decreased risk of having NSBH. Total n-3 PUFA composition was associated with decreased NSBH risk (OR = 0.92), while high n-6 PUFA composition was associated with an increased risk (OR = 1.14).

KEYWORDS:

asthma clinical endpoints; non-specific bronchial hyperresponsiveness; omega-3 fatty acids; omega-6 fatty acids; polyunsaturated fatty acids

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