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Sex-dependent association between erythrocyte n-3 PUFA and type 2 diabetes in older overweight people

Abbott, Kylie A.; Veysey, Martin; Lucock, Mark; Niblett, Suzanne; King, Katrina; Burrows, Tracy; Garg, Manohar L.


Kylie A. Abbott

Martin Veysey

Mark Lucock

Suzanne Niblett

Katrina King

Tracy Burrows

Manohar L. Garg


Copyright © The Authors 2016. The association between n-3 PUFA intake and type 2 diabetes (T2D) is unclear, and studies relating objective biomarkers of n-3 PUFA consumption to diabetic status remain limited. The aim of this study was to determine whether erythrocyte n-3 PUFA levels (n-3 index; n-3I) are associated with T2D in a cohort of older adults (n 608). To achieve this, the n-3I (erythrocyte %EPA+%DHA) was determined by GC and associated with fasting blood glucose; HbA1c; and plasma insulin. Insulin resistance (IR) was assessed using the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA - IR). OR for T2D were calculated for each quartile of n-3I. In all, eighty-two type 2 diabetic (46.3 % female; 76.7 (sd 5.9) years) and 466 non-diabetic (57.9 % female; 77.8 (sd 7.1) years) individuals were included in the analysis. In overweight/obese (BMI≥27 kg/m 2 ), the prevalence of T2D decreased across ascending n-3I quartiles: 1.0 (reference), 0.82 (95 % CI 0.31, 2.18), 0.56 (95 % CI 0.21, 1.52) and 0.22 (95 % CI 0.06, 0.82) (P trend=0.015). A similar but non-significant trend was seen in overweight men. After adjusting for BMI, no associations were found between n-3I and fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, insulin or HOMA-IR. In conclusion, higher erythrocyte n-3 PUFA status may be protective against the development of T2D in overweight women. Further research is warranted to determine whether dietary interventions that improve n-3 PUFA status can improve measures of IR, and to further elucidate sex-dependent differences.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 28, 2016
Journal British Journal of Nutrition
Print ISSN 1475-2662
Electronic ISSN 1475-2662
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 115
Issue 8
Pages 1379-1386
APA6 Citation Abbott, K. A., Veysey, M., Lucock, M., Niblett, S., King, K., Burrows, T., & Garg, M. L. (2016). Sex-dependent association between erythrocyte n-3 PUFA and type 2 diabetes in older overweight people. British Journal of Nutrition, 115(8), 1379-1386.
Keywords Nutrition and Dietetics; Medicine (miscellaneous)
Publisher URL
Additional Information License: Copyright © The Authors 2016