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Comparison of the intake of omega -3 fatty acids and its relation to the incidence of non fatal myocardial infarction in two samples from different geographical locations in Saudi Arabia

Khalid S Al-Numair, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

Evidence shows that omega-3 fatty acids (n-3 FAs) may help in preventing heart disease. The purposes of this current study were to investigate the consumption and the food sources of n-3 FA in two groups of elderly men living in different geographic location (coastal and internal regions) of Saudi Arabia; and to examine the relationship between n-3 FA intakes and non fatal myocardial infarction and the presence of risk factors for heart disease. ^ Total n-3 FA intakes and the intakes of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were greater in residents in the coastal than the internal region (P < 0.05). Walnuts, salmon, canola oil, malabar cavalla and king mackerel were the top five foods contributing to the intake n-3 FAs in the coastal region. Seafood was a major contributor to the intake of n-3 FAs in the coastal region as three-fourths of the residents in this region consumed 5–7 seafood servings/week. ^ The top five foods contributing to the n-3 FA intakes in the internal region were walnuts, lamb, whole milk, baked beans and chicken. After walnuts, the plant foods contributing the most to the intake of n-3 FA in the internal region were zucchini squash, potato, spinach, cherries, cantaloupe, apple and baked beans provided a total of 0.28 g/day. ^ Rates of nonfatal myocardial infarction, high serum cholesterol, and high blood pressure were higher in the internal than the coastal region, but differences were not significant. There was a negative correlation between n-3 FA intakes and rates of non fatal myocardial infarction in both the coastal (p < 0.01) and internal (P < 0.05) regions. Results also indicate a negative correlation between n-3 FA intakes and rates of high serum cholesterol in both regions (P < 0.01). There was a negative correlation between n-3 FA intakes and rates of high blood pressure in the coastal region (P < 0.05), but not in the internal region. ^ In conclusion, in this study the food consumption patterns for n-3 FAs differ by location. N-3 FA intakes of elderly men living in the coastal region of Saudi Arabia were higher than those of men living in internal region of the country. Seafood consumption may be one of the reasons for higher intakes of n-3 FA in the coastal region. However the food contributing the most to the intakes of n-3 FA in both regions was walnuts. (Abstract shortened by UMI.) ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Nutrition|Health Sciences, Public Health

Recommended Citation

Al-Numair, Khalid S, "Comparison of the intake of omega -3 fatty acids and its relation to the incidence of non fatal myocardial infarction in two samples from different geographical locations in Saudi Arabia" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3126941.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3126941

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