Associations of plasma phospholipid omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels and MRI measures of cardiovascular structure and function: The multiethnic study of atherosclerosis

Jennifer S. Anderson, Jennifer A. Nettleton, W. Gregory Hundley, Michael Y. Tsai, Lyn M. Steffen, Rozenn N. Lemaitre, David Siscovick, João Lima, Martin R. Prince, David Herrington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background. The association between plasma omega-6 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease (CVD) is unclear, and discrepancy remains concerning the cardiovascular benefit of the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid. Methods. Associations of plasma phospholipid fatty acid levels (arachidonic acid, linoleic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and alpha-linolenic acid) with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging measures of left ventricular (LV) mass, LV volume, ejection fraction, stroke volume, and aortic distensibility were investigated in 1,274 adults. Results. Results of multivariate analysis showed no statistically significant associations of plasma omega-6 or omega-3 levels with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging measures. Stratification by gender revealed a positive association between DHA and LV mass in women (β = 1.89, P = 0.02; P interaction = 0.003) and a trend for a positive association between DHA and ejection fraction in men (β = 0.009, P = 0.05; P interaction = 0.03). Conclusion. Additional research is warranted to clarify the effects of plasma DHA on cardiac structure and function in women versus men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number315134
JournalJournal of Nutrition and Metabolism
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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