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High Omega-3 Index Linked to Low Rates of Fatal Coronary Heart Disease in Spain

In a cross-sectional study involving 198 subjects (102 men and 96 women; mean age: 66 years) with high risk of cardiovascular disease living in Spain, a country with low rates of cardiac death, despite having a high prevalence of CVD risk factors, the average intake of EPA+DHA was 0.9 g/d and the mean omega-3 index was 7.1%. EPA+DHA intake was found to be the main predictor of the omega-3 index, but explained only 12% of its variability. The authors conclude, "...the high omega-3 index could at least partially explain the paradox of low rates of fatal CHD in Spain despite a high background prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors."

Reference:

"Determinants of the omega-3 index in a Mediterranean population at increased risk for CHD," Sala-Vila A, Harris WS, et al, Br J Nutr, 2011 March 30: 1-7 [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Lipid Clinic, Endocrinology and Nutrition Service, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Unitat de Lípids, Hospital Clinic, Villarroel 170, 08036 Barcelona, Spain).

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