Relation of omega-3 Fatty Acid intake to other dietary factors known to reduce coronary heart disease risk.

Am J Cardiol. 2007 May 1;99(9):1230-3. Epub 2007 Mar 16.  

Cundiff DK, Lanou AJ, Nigg CR.
Department of Internal Medicine, Los Angeles County and USC Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA. 

Data supporting the inverse correlation of fish or long-chain omega-3 fatty acid (FA) (eicosapentaenoic acid plus docosahexaenoic acid) supplement consumption and coronary heart disease are inconclusive and may be confounded by other dietary and lifestyle factors. Using the Diabetic Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) database (n = 1,441), correlations between consumption of omega-3 FAs and saturated FAs to dietary variables (kilocalories, macronutrients, sodium, and cholesterol) and to age, gender, exercise level, and tobacco use were tested using Pearson correlation coefficients. Long-chain omega-3 FA intake inversely correlated with consumption of calories (r = -0.16, p <0.0001), percent calories from total fat (r = -0.14, p <0.0001), and percent calories from saturated FAs (r = -0.21, p <0.0001) and directly with dietary fiber intake (grams per 1,000 kcal, r = 0.20, p <0.0001). In the DCCT database, long-chain omega-3 FAs (i.e., fish consumption) inversely correlated with an overall low risk nutritional profile for coronary heart disease. In conclusion, these findings provide evidence that associations observed in studies suggesting a benefit of fish or long-chain omega-3 FAs may be due to a convergence of greater fish intakes with an overall healthier dietary pattern rather than with a specific effect of long-chain omega-3 FAs.