Long Chain Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Improve Vascular Stiffness in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: A Randomized Controlled Trial
Centre for Genetics, Ecology & Physiology, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD 4556, Australia
School of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Maroochydore, QLD 4556, Australia
Sunshine Vascular, Buderim, QLD 4556, Australia
Department of Surgery, Sunshine Coast University Hospital, Birtinya, QLD 4575, Australia
Moffat Beach Family Medical Practice, Moffat Beach, QLD 4551, Australia
Physiology and Ultrasound Laboratory in Science and Exercise (PULSE), Centre for Research on Exercise, Physical Activity and Health, School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, Queensland, QLD 4343, Australia
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, The University of Queensland, Queensland, QLD 4343, Australia
VasoActive Research Group, Sunshine Coast Health Institute, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Birtinya, QLD 4575, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2021, 13(1), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13010138
Received: 9 November 2020 / Revised: 29 December 2020 / Accepted: 29 December 2020 / Published: 31 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue LC N-3 PUFAs, Vascular Inflammation, and Oxidative Stress)
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a vascular disease involving permanent focal dilation of the abdominal aorta (≥30 mm) that can lead to catastrophic rupture. Destructive remodeling of aortic connective tissue in AAA contributes to wall stiffening, a mechanical parameter of the arterial system linked to a heightened risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Since aortic stiffening is associated with AAA progression, treatment options that target vascular inflammation would appear prudent. Given this, and growing evidence indicating robust anti-inflammatory and vasoprotective properties for long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC n-3 PUFAs), this study evaluated the impact of these nutrients (1.8 g/day for 12 weeks) on indices of vascular stiffness in patients with AAA. At baseline, pulse wave velocity (PWV) and augmentation index normalized to a heart rate of 75 bpm (AIx75) were significantly higher in patients with AAA compared to control participants (PWV: 14.2 ± 0.4 m.s−1 vs. 12.6 ± 0.4 m.s−1, p = 0.014; AIx75: 26.4 ± 1.7% vs. 17.3 ± 2.7%, p = 0.005). Twelve-week LC n-3 PUFA supplementation significantly decreased PWV (baseline: 14.2 ± 0.6 m.s−1, week 12: 12.8 ± 0.7 m.s−1, p = 0.014) and heart rate (baseline: 63 ± 3 bpm, week 12: 58 ± 3 bpm, p = 0.009) in patients with AAA. No change was observed for patients receiving placebo capsules. While this raises the possibility that LC n-3 PUFAs provide improvements in aortic stiffness in patients with AAA, the clinical implications remain to be fully elucidated.