Dietary fatty acids and peripheral artery disease in adults

Atherosclerosis, 06/14/2012

In this nationally representative sample, higher dietary intakes of linolenic acid (LNA) and saturated fatty acids (SFAs) were associated with higher and lower ankle brachial index (ABI), respectively. Prospective studies are needed to confirm the potential protective effects of dietary LNA and detrimental effects of dietary SFAs on peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Methods

  • Authors studied 6352 adults aged 40 years and older who participated in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999 and 2004.
  • Ankle brachial index (ABI) was assessed by standardized blood pressure measurements, and they defined PAD as an ABI<0.9.
  • Fatty acid intake was assessed by validated 24–h dietary recall.
  • They used multivariable linear and logistic regression to estimate associations between intakes of dietary saturated fatty acids (SFAs), monounsaturated fatty acids (MFAs), marine omega–3 fatty acids (N–3), linolenic acid (LNA), and omega–6 fatty acids (N–6) and ABI/PAD.

Results

  • The prevalence and 95% confidence interval (CI) of PAD was 5.2% (95% CI 4.6–5.8).
  • There were no associations between ABI and intakes of marine N–3 (p=0.83) or N–6 (p=0.19) in adjusted models.
  • In contrast, LNA was associated with higher ABI (p=0.04) and SFA tended to be associated with lower ABI (p=0.06) in adjusted models.
  • In addition, higher SFA was associated with a higher prevalence of PAD: adjusted odds ratio 1.30 (95% CI 1.01–1.67; p=0.04) and a trend toward slower gait speed (p=0.08).

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