A low omega-3 index is as strong a predictor of premature death as smoking


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A new research paper published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition last week showed that a low omega-3 index is as powerful in predicting early death as smoking. This reference finding is based on data extracted and analyzed from the Framingham study, one of the longest studies in the world.

The Framingham Heart Study provided unique information on cardiovascular disease risk factors (CVD) and led to the development of the Framingham Risk Score based on eight standard baseline risk factors: age, sex, smoking, treatment of hypertension , state of diabetes, , total cholesterol (TC) and HDL cholesterol.

Cardiovascular disease is still the leading cause of death worldwide and the risk can be reduced by changing behavioral factors, such as an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and tobacco and alcohol use. Therefore, the researchers in this study claim that biomarkers that integrate lifestyle choices can help identify individuals at risk and be useful in assessing treatment methods, preventing morbidity, and delaying death.

Among the diet-based biomarkers are (FA), either measured in plasma or Membranes (RBC). The AFs most clearly associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and total mortality (i.e., death from any cause) are omega-3, EPA, and DHA FAs, which are typically found in fish such as salmon and salmon. herring as well as omega-3s. supplements such as fish oil and seaweed.

In a 2018 report that included 2,500 participants in the Framingham Offspring cohort, the RBC EPA + DHA core content was followed for an average of 7.3 years (i.e., between 66 and 73 years). [the omega-3 (O3I)] was significantly and inversely associated with the risk of death from all causes.

In fact, individuals with the highest omega-3 index were 33% less likely to succumb during follow-up years compared with those with the lowest omega-3 index. Similar associations have been seen in the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study, the Heart and Soul Study, and the Ludwigshafen Cardiovascular Risk and Health Study.

The omega-3 index measures the amount of EPA and DHA in red blood cell membranes and is a marker of the status of omega-3s. An optimal omega-3 index is 8% or higher, an intermediate omega-3 index is between 4% and 8%, and a low omega-3 index is 4% and below. Most Americans have an omega-3 index below 4%, which puts them at a significantly higher risk. .

According to the researchers in this study, the finding that any AF-based metric would have a predictive power similar to that of well-established standard risk factors was unexpected, and suggests that RBC AFs, through mechanisms that are not fully understood, they somehow reflect an in vivo. an environment that consolidates to some extent the impact of all these standard risk factors on the body.

“It is interesting to note that in Japan, where the average omega-3 index is over 8%, the expected shelf life is about five years longer than in the United States, where the average omega-3 index is about 5%. Therefore, in practice, dietary options that change the omega-3 index can prolong life, ”said Michael McBurney, Ph.D., FCNS-SCN, lead researcher in this study. “In the final combined model, smoking and the omega-3 index appear to be the most easily modifiable risk factors. It is expected that being a current smoker (at age 65) will remain more than four years old (compared to not smoking). ), a shortening of life equivalent to having a low and high omega-3 index. “

“The information contained in the concentrations of four red blood cell fatty acids was as useful as that of lipid levels, blood pressure, smoking and diabetes status in terms of predicting total mortality,” he said. Dr. Bill Harris, who was also an author of this study. “This speaks to the power of the omega-3 index as a risk factor and should be considered as important as the other established , and maybe even more. ”

New study shows people with a high omega-3 index are less likely to die prematurely

More information:
Michael I McBurney et al, Using a fingerprint of erythrocyte fatty acids to predict the risk of all-cause mortality: the Framingham Offspring cohort, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2021). DOI: 10.1093 / ajcn / nqab195

Provided by Fatty Acid Research Institute

Citation: A low omega-3 index is as strong as a predictor of premature death as smoking (2021, June 24) recovered on June 24, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06- omega-index-strong-predictor -early.html

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