Author + information
- Received November 14, 2007
- Revision received March 7, 2008
- Accepted March 11, 2008
- Published online August 5, 2008.
- Akira Sekikawa, MD, PhD⁎,†,⁎ (, )
- J. David Curb, MD, MPH‡,†,
- Hirotsugu Ueshima, MD, PhD†,
- Aiman El-Saed, MD, PhD⁎,
- Takashi Kadowaki, MD, PhD†,⁎,
- Robert D. Abbott, PhD†,‡,§,
- Rhobert W. Evans, PhD⁎,
- Beatriz L. Rodriguez, MD, PhD‡,
- Tomonori Okamura, MD, PhD†∥,
- Kim Sutton-Tyrrell, DrPH⁎,
- Yasuyuki Nakamura, MD, PhD, FACC¶,
- Kamal Masaki, MD‡,
- Daniel Edmundowicz, MD, MPH, FACC⁎,
- Atsunori Kashiwagi, MD, PhD†,
- Bradley J. Willcox, MD‡,
- Tomoko Takamiya, MD, PhD⁎,
- Ken-ichi Mitsunami, MD, PhD†,
- Todd B. Seto, MD, MPH#,
- Kiyoshi Murata, MD, PhD†,
- Roger L. White, MD⁎⁎,
- Lewis H. Kuller, MD, DrPH⁎,
- ERA JUMP (Electron-Beam Tomography, Risk Factor Assessment Among Japanese and U.S. Men in the Post-World War II Birth Cohort) Study Group
- ↵⁎Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Akira Sekikawa, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 130 North Bellefield Avenue, Suite 546, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213.
Objectives We sought to examine whether marine-derived n-3 fatty acids are associated with less atherosclerosis in Japanese versus white populations in the U.S.
Background Marine-derived n-3 fatty acids at low levels are cardioprotective through their antiarrhythmic effect.
Methods A population-based cross-sectional study in 281 Japanese (defined as born and living in Japan), 306 white (defined as white men born and living in the U.S.), and 281 Japanese-American men (defined as Japanese men born and living in the U.S.) ages 40 to 49 years was conducted to assess intima-media thickness (IMT) of the carotid artery, coronary artery calcification (CAC), and serum fatty acids.
Results Japanese men had the lowest levels of atherosclerosis, whereas whites and Japanese Americans had similar levels. Japanese had 2-fold higher levels of marine-derived n-3 fatty acids than whites and Japanese Americans in the U.S. Japanese had significant and nonsignificant inverse associations of marine-derived n-3 fatty acids with IMT and CAC prevalence, respectively. The significant inverse association with IMT remained after adjusting for traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Neither whites nor Japanese Americans had such associations. Significant differences between Japanese and whites in multivariable-adjusted IMT (mean difference 39 μm, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 21 to 57μm, p < 0.001) and CAC prevalence (mean difference 10.7%, 95% CI: 2.9% to 18.4%, p = 0.007) became nonsignificant after we adjusted further for marine-derived n-3 fatty acids (22 μm, 95% CI: –1 to 46 μm, p = 0.065 and 5.0%, 95% CI: –5.3% to 15.4%, p = 0.341, respectively).
Conclusions Very high levels of marine-derived n-3 fatty acids have antiatherogenic properties that are independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and may contribute to lower the burden of atherosclerosis in Japanese, a lower burden that is unlikely the result of genetic factors.
- n-3 fatty acids
- coronary artery calcification
- intima-media thickness
This research was supported by grants R01 HL68200 and HL071561 from the National Institutes of Health and B 16790335 and A 13307016 from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
- Received November 14, 2007.
- Revision received March 7, 2008.
- Accepted March 11, 2008.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation