In CKD, Dietary Omega-3 PUFAs may Reduce All-Cause Mortality Risk

Optimal dietary omega-3 fat intake may delay death in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a new study.

Although a diet high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been shown to protect the general population against risk of early death, especially from cardiovascular disease (CVD), the ability of optimal omega-3 PUFA intake to protect patients with CKD against early death has been unclear.

To clarify the effect of optimal omega-3 PUFA intake on mortality in patients with CKD, who are at a particularly high risk of CVD, the researchers identified nearly 3000 persons with CKD who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) from 1999 through 2014 and divided them into 4 groups based on their quartile of omega-3 PUFA intake assessed from their responses to a 24 hour dietary recall questionnaire.

The researchers then linked mortality data from the National Death Index with the NHANES data and evaluated the associations between dietary omega-3 PUFA intake and mortality by constructing multivariable Cox proportional hazards models.

Over a median 8 years of follow-up, 864 deaths had occurred in the study group. Adjusted hazard ratios for all-cause mortality for the 3 highest quartiles of intake compared with the lowest quartile of intake (<0.86 g/day) were 0.94 for the second quartile (0.87-1.30 g/day), 0.74 for the third quartile (1.31-1.92 g/day), and 0.67 for the fourth quartile (1.93-9.65 g/day). Statistical analysis of the trend toward decreasing all-cause mortality with increasing consumption of omega-3 PUFAs resulted in a p-value of 0.011.

As a result, the researchers concluded that an inverse relation may exist between dietary omega-3 PUFA intake and all-cause mortality in patients with CKD. Therefore, they recommended that clinical use of “an increase of dietary omega-3 PUFA may be encouraged” in patients with CKD.
—Ellen Kurek

Li WL, Zhang NH, Ge SW, Xu G. Dietary omega-3 fatty acid intake and mortality in CKD population: a 1999-2014 NHANES analysis. Am J Nephrol. Published online November 26, 2021. 

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