Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid in Whole Blood Are Differentially and Sex-Specifically Associated with Cardiometabolic Risk Markers in 8-11-Year-Old Danish Children
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n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids improve cardiovascular risk markers in adults. These effects may differ between eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, 20:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3), but we lack evidence in children. Using baseline data from the OPUS School Meal Study we 1) investigated associations between EPA and DHA in whole blood and early cardiometabolic risk markers in 713 children aged 8-11 years and 2) explored potential mediation through waist circumference and physical activity and potential dietary confounding. We collected data on parental education, pubertal stage, 7-day dietary records, physical activity by accelerometry and measured anthropometry, blood pressure, and heart rate. Blood samples were analyzed for whole blood fatty acid composition, cholesterols, triacylglycerol, insulin resistance by the homeostatic model of assessment (HOMA-IR), and inflammatory markers. Whole blood EPA was associated with a 2.7 mmHg (95% CI 0.4; 5.1) higher diastolic blood pressure per weight% EPA, but only in boys. Heart rate was negatively associated with both EPA and DHA status (P = 0.02 and P = 0.002, respectively). Whole blood EPA was negatively associated with triacylglycerol (P = 0.003) and positively with total cholesterol, low density and high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and HDL: triacylglycerol (all P<0.01) whereas DHA was negatively associated with insulin and HOMA-IR (P = 0.003) and tended to be negatively associated with a metabolic syndrome-score (P = 0.05). Adjustment for waist circumference and physical activity did not change the associations. The association between DHA and HOMA-IR was attenuated but remained after adjustment for fiber intake and none of the other associations were confounded by dietary fat, protein, fiber or energy intake. This study showed that EPA status was negatively associated with triacylglycerol and positively with cholesterols whereas DHA was negatively associated with insulin resistance, and both were inversely associated with heart rate in children. The sex-specific associations with blood pressure confirm our previous findings and warrant further investigation.
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Camilla T. Damsgaard, Maj B. Eidner, Ken Stark, Mads F. Hjorth, Anders Sjodin, Malene R. Andersen, Rikke Andersen, Inge Tetens, Arne Astrup, Kim F. Michaelsen, Lotte Lauritzen (2014). Eicosapentaenoic Acid and Docosahexaenoic Acid in Whole Blood Are Differentially and Sex-Specifically Associated with Cardiometabolic Risk Markers in 8-11-Year-Old Danish Children. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12638
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