|AJCN - Omega-3 FA and Slower Increase in Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
Skilton MR, Mikkilä V, Würtz P, et al. Fetal growth, omega-3 (n-3) fatty acids, and progression of subclinical atherosclerosis: preventing fetal origins of disease? The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jan;97(1):58-65.
Impaired fetal growth is independently associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events in adulthood. Prevention strategies that can be implemented during adulthood have not been identified.
The objective was to determine whether habitual omega-3 (n-3) fatty acid intake is associated with the rate of increase of carotid intima-media thickness during adulthood in individuals with impaired fetal growth.
This was a population-based, prospective cohort study of 1573 adults in Finland. Carotid intima-media thickness was assessed in 2001 (at ages 24-39 y) and in 2007. Participants were categorized as having had impaired fetal growth (term birth with birth weight <10th percentile for sex or preterm birth with birth weight <25th percentile for gestational age and sex; n = 193) or normal fetal growth (all other participants; n = 1380). Omega-3 fatty acid intake was assessed by using a food-frequency questionnaire and on the basis of serum fatty acid concentrations.
In multivariable models, the 6-y progression of carotid intima-media thickness was inversely associated with dietary omega-3 fatty acids in those with impaired fetal growth (P = 0.04). Similarly, serum omega-3 fatty acid concentrations were inversely associated with the 6-y progression of carotid intima-media thickness in those with impaired fetal growth (P = 0.04) but were not noted in those with normal fetal growth (P = 0.94 and P = 0.26, respectively).
Dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a slower rate of increase in carotid intima-media thickness in those with impaired fetal growth.