It has been found that the level of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in adipose tissue is linked to the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). These results from a case cohort study were published in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation.
For this study, we analyzed data from the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort, which included adults (N = 57,053) without cancer who lived in Copenhagen and Aarhus between 1993 and 1997. Participants completed a lifestyle questionnaire and performed an adipose tissue biopsy of the buttocks. The clinical results up to 2013 were assessed and the risk of atrial fibrillation was compared with a randomly selected subcohort of study participants.
During the 16.9-year follow-up, 5255 cases of atrial fibrillation were recorded; 2920 cases were in men and 1821 in women. The cohorts of men and women with atrial fibrillation included subjects with a median age of 58.1 and 59.4 years at baseline, 22.6% and 26.8% had hypertension and their body mass index (BMI) was 27, 0 and 25.8, respectively. The subcohorts of 1728 and 1478 randomly selected men and women had an average age of 56.3 and 56.2 years, 15.5% and 16.9% hypertension and their BMI 26.4 and 24.70, respectively, at the start of the study, 1 %.
The median EPA content of adipose tissue was 0.10% (95% CI, 0.05% to 0.20%) in men and 0.09% (95% CI, 0.04% to 0.19%) in Women. Stratified by quintiles of obese EPA content, the risk of atrial fibrillation was 45% lower in the highest quintiles than in the lowest (adjusted hazard ratio.). [aHR], Men: 0.55, 95% CI, 0.41-0.69, women: 0.55, 95% CI, 0.41-0.72.
The median docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content of adipose tissue was 0.25% (95% CI, 0.12% to 0.51%) in men and 0.28% (95% CI, 0.14% to 0) , 55%) in women. Stratified by quintiles of obese EPA content, the risk of atrial fibrillation in the highest quintiles was 30% lower than in the lowest in women (aHR, 0.70, 95% CI, 0.54–0.91) and did not differ in men (aHR, 0.92; 95th). % CI, 0.74-1.14).
This study was an observational case cohort study that did not assess causality. Additional studies are needed to evaluate the biological mechanism that links atrial fibrillation to the omega-3 fatty acid content in adipose tissue.
These data showed that there was an inverse relationship between EPA levels in adipose tissue and the risk of AF. Women also had a similar relationship between AF and DHA.
Rix TA, Dinesen P, Lundbye-Christensen S, et al. Omega-3 fatty acids in adipose tissue and risk of atrial fibrillation. Eur J Clin Invest. 2021; e13649. doi: 10.1111 / eci.13649