Long-chain n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of atrial fibrillation: Results from a Danish cohort study

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  • Lotte Maxild Mortensen, Kardiologisk Afdeling, Aalborg Sygehus
  • ,
  • Søren Lundbye-Christensen
  • Erik Berg Schmidt
  • Philip C Calder, National Institute for Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom., Human Development and Health Academic Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, United Kingdom
  • Mikkel Heide Schierup
  • Anne Tjønneland, Unit of Diet, Genes and Environment, Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • ,
  • Erik T Parner
  • Kim Overvad

BACKGROUND: Studies of the relation between polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of atrial fibrillation have been inconclusive. The risk of atrial fibrillation may depend on the interaction between n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids as both types of fatty acids are involved in the regulation of systemic inflammation.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the association between dietary intake of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (individually and in combination) and the risk of atrial fibrillation with focus on potential interaction between the two types of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

DESIGN: The risk of atrial fibrillation in the Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort was analyzed using the pseudo-observation method to explore cumulative risks on an additive scale providing risk differences. Dietary intake of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids was assessed by food frequency questionnaires. The main analyses were adjusted for the dietary intake of n-3 α-linolenic acid and n-6 linoleic acid to account for endogenous synthesis of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Interaction was assessed as deviation from additivity of absolute association measures (risk differences).

RESULTS: Cumulative risks in 15-year age periods were estimated in three strata of the cohort (N = 54,737). No associations between intake of n-3 or n-6 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and atrial fibrillation were found, neither when analyzed separately as primary exposures nor when interaction between n-3 and n-6 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids was explored.

CONCLUSION: This study suggests no association between intake of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of atrial fibrillation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalP L o S One
Volume12
Issue12
Pages (from-to)e0190262
Number of pages12
ISSN1932-6203
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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