Association between n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content of red blood cells and inflammatory biomarkers in patients with peripheral artery disease

S. Marlene Grenon, Michael S. Conte, Emily Nosova, Hugh Alley, Karen Chong, William S. Harris, Eric Vittinghoff, Christopher D. Owens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: The n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are dietary components derived from fish oil with beneficial cardiovascular effects that may relate in part to anti-inflammatory properties. Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is characterized by a marked proinflammatory state. We hypothesized that the n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids content of red blood cells (omega-3 index) would be correlated with biomarkers of inflammation and vascular function in a PAD cohort. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of subjects who presented to an outpatient vascular surgery clinic for evaluation of PAD. We used linear regression to evaluate the independent association between the omega-3 index, inflammatory biomarkers (C-reactive protein [CRP], intercellular adhesion molecule-1, interleukin-6, and tumor-necrosis-factor-α) and endothelial function (brachial artery flow mediated dilation). Results: 64 subjects (61 claudicants and three with critical limb ischemia) were recruited for the study. The mean CRP level was 5.0 ± 5.0 mg/L, and the mean omega-3 index was 5.0% ± 1.8%. In an unadjusted model, the omega-3 index was negatively associated with CRP (38% increase in CRP for one standard deviation decrease in the omega-3 index; P =.007), which remained significant after adjustment for age, body mass index, smoking, ankle-brachial index, and high-density lipoprotein (33%; P =.04). There was also evidence for independent associations between the omega-3 index and IL-6 (P =.001). There were no significant associations between the omega-3 index and vascular function tests. Conclusions: In a cohort of patients with PAD, the omega-3 index was inversely associated with biomarkers of inflammation even after adjustment for covariates including the ankle-brachial index. Because patients with PAD have a high inflammatory burden, further studies should be conducted to determine if manipulation of omega-3 index via dietary changes or fish oil supplementation could improve inflammation and symptoms in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1283-1290
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Volume58
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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