Whole blood ω-3 fatty acids are inversely associated with carotid intima-media thickness in indigenous mexican women

Adriana Monge, William S. Harris, Eduardo Ortiz-Panozo, Elsa Yunes, Carlos Cantu-Brito, Andres Catzin-Kuhlmann, Ruy López-Ridaura, Martín Lajous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Long-chain ω-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. The association between n-3 PUFAs and cardiovascular disease may vary across different populations, and there is limited information on Hispanic individuals with mixed Amerindian and European origin. Objective: Weevaluated the cross-sectional relations between whole blood n-3 PUFAs and carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) in Mexican women living in Mexico and assessed whether this relation was different in women who spoke an indigenous language compared with women who did not. Methods: In 2012-2013, we assessed the association between blood n-3 PUFAs and IMT in 1306 women free of disease in Chiapas and Yucatan, Mexico. We categorized blood n-3 PUFAs (% of total FAs) in quartiles and adjusted linear regression models by age, indigenous language, site, socioeconomic status, education, smoking, menopause, diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, body mass index, physical activity, and diet. We stratified analyses by indigenous/ nonindigenous language speakers (n = 315 of 991). Results: Whole blood n-3 PUFAs (means ± SDs) were 3.58% 6 0.78% of total FAs. We did not observe a significant association between n-3 PUFAs and IMT in the overall study population. However, the adjusted mean difference of IMT was26.5% (95% CI:210.7%,22.3%; P-trend < 0.0001) for indigenous women in the highest quartile compared with the lowest quartile of blood n-3 PUFAs. In nonindigenous women, we did not observe an association (20.6%; 95% CI: 23.0%, 1.8%, comparing extreme quartiles; P-trend = 1.00). Conclusions: Overall, circulating n-3 PUFAs were not associated with IMT. However, we observed a strong statistically significant inverse association with IMT in indigenous Mexican women. Future studies should evaluate genetic markers that may reflect differences in n-3 PUFA metabolism across populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1365-1372
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2016


  • Cross sectional
  • Indigenous
  • Intima-media thickness
  • Mexican women
  • N-3 PUFA metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Whole blood ω-3 fatty acids are inversely associated with carotid intima-media thickness in indigenous mexican women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this