Omega-3 and omega-6 intake modifies asthma severity and response to indoor air pollution in children

Emily P. Brigham, Han Woo, Meredith McCormack, Jessica Rice, Kirsten Koehler, Tristan Vulcain, Tianshi Wu, Abigail Koch, Sangita Sharma, Fariba Kolahdooz, Sonali Bose, Corrine Hanson, Karina Romero, Gregory Diette, Nadia N. Hansel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Rationale: Higher indoor particulate matter (PM) concentrations are linked with increased asthma morbidity. Dietary intake of fatty acids, also linked with asthma outcomes, may influence this relationship. Objectives: To determine the relationship between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid intake and pediatric asthma morbidity, and the association between fatty acid intake and strength of indoor, PM-related asthma symptoms, albuterol use, and systemic inflammation. Methods: Analyses included 135 children with asthma enrolled in the AsthmaDIET Study. At baseline, 3 months, and 6 months, data included: week-long average home indoor concentration of PM <2.5 mm in aerodynamic diameter and PM <10 mm in aerodynamic diameter, dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, daily symptoms, and peripheral blood leukocytes. Asthma severity and lung function were assessed at baseline. Multivariable regression models, adjusted for known confounders, were used to determine associations between each fatty acid and outcomes of interest, with interaction terms (fatty acids 3 PM) in longitudinal analyses. Measurements and Main Results: Higher omega-6 intake associated with increased odds of increased asthma severity (P = 0.02), and lower FEV1/FVC ratio (P = 0.01). Higher omega-3 intake associated with reduced effect of indoor PM <2.5 mm in aerodynamic diameter on symptoms (P, 0.01), whereas higher omega-6 intake associated with amplified effect of indoor PM <2.5 mm in aerodynamic diameter on symptoms and circulating neutrophil percentage (P, 0.01). Conclusions: Omega-3 and omega-6 intake are associated with pediatric asthma morbidity and may modify the asthmatic response to indoor PM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1478-1486
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2019



  • Diet
  • Inflammation
  • Particulate matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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