Abstract 034: Omega-3 Fatty Acid Biomarkers and Incident Type 2 Diabetes: An Individual Participant-level Pooling Project of 20 Prospective Cohort Studies

Frank Qian, Andres V. Ardisson Korat, Fumiaki Imamura, Matti Marklund, Nathan Tintle, Jyrki K. Virtanen, Xia Zhou, Julie K. Bassett, Heidi Lai, Yoichiro Hirakawa, Kuo-Liong Chien, Alexis C. Frazier-wood, Maria Lankinen, Rachel A. Murphy, Cecilia Samieri, Johanna M. Geleijnse, Vanessa De Mello, Nita G. Forouhi, Jason H. Wu, Rozenn N. LemaitreRenata Micha, Dariush Mozaffarian, Qi Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractAcademic


Background: Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the prevention of type 2 diabetes (T2D) are unclear. Relatively few prospective studies have utilized objective omega-3 biomarkers to assess risk.

Aims: To assess the prospective relationship between circulating and tissue levels of alpha linoleic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), with respect to risk of T2D.

Methods: A global consortium of 20 prospective cohort studies from 14 nations with assessments of ALA, EPA, DPA, or DHA in adults (age > 18 years) were identified through July 2017 and included in this investigation. A pre-specified analytic protocol, including definitions for exposures, covariate list, disease outcome definitions, and subgroup analyses was developed and followed in new participant-level cohort analysis. Associations were pooled using inverse variance-weighted meta-analysis.

Results: Among 65,147 participants, 16,693 incident cases of T2D occurred during follow-up (median follow-up in the cohorts ranged from 2.5 to 21.2 years). In pooled multivariate analysis, per interquintile range (difference between the midpoints of the first and fifth quintile for each fatty acid), EPA, DPA, DHA, and their sum (Figure 1) were associated with 8%, 21%, 18%, and 19% lower risk of T2D, respectively (all P<0.001). Higher levels of ALA were not significantly associated with T2D. Associations were consistent across different lipid compartments and pre-specified subgroups, including by age, sex, and geographic region, as well as in several sensitivity analyses.

Conclusion: Higher circulating and tissue biomarkers of seafood-derived omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, DPA, and DHA, were associated with lower risk of T2D in a global consortium of prospective studies. Plant-derived ALA was not significantly associated with risk.
Original languageEnglish
Article number034
Issue numberSuppl_1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2019


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