Which has the stronger impact on coronary artery disease, eicosapentaenoic acid or docosahexaenoic acid?
Koichi Iwamatsu, Shichiro Abe, Hiroaki Nishida, Michiya Kageyama, Takahisa Nasuno, Masashi Sakuma, Shigeru Toyoda, and Teruo Inoue
It has been suggested that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), protect against cardiovascular diseases, and EPA/arachidonic acid (AA) and DHA/AA ratios in serum are potential risk markers for coronary artery disease (CAD). The purpose of this study was to clarify the clinical significance of the difference in the EPA/AA ratio and the DHA/AA ratio in patients with CAD. In 369 patients with confirmed or suspected CAD who underwent diagnostic coronary angiography, we measured serum levels of EPA, DHA and AA and calculated the EPA/AA and DHA/AA ratios. The EPA/AA ratio was significantly lower in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) than in patients with chronic CAD or chest pain syndrome (0.27±0.19 vs. 0.44±0.20, respectively; P<0.01), whereas the DHA/AA ratio was similar in the two groups (0.78±0.27 vs. 0.79±0.37). Multiple logistic regression analyses using various biomarkers related to coronary risk discriminated ACS from other disease entities and demonstrated that the EPA/AA ratio (odds ratio: 0.0012, 95% confidence interval: 0.00–0.16, P<0.01) but not the DHA/AA ratio (odds ratio: 1.05, 95% confidence interval: 0.98–1.12) was a significant independent predictive factor. Our findings suggest that the EPA/AA ratio might be more closely associated with the pathophysiology of CAD, especially with that of ACS, than the DHA/AA ratio. Our findings suggest that interventions with EPA agents or supplemental EPA intake, compared with DHA agents or supplemental DHA, may confer greater benefit for plaque stabilization to prevent the onset of ACS in patients with CAD.
This article was published in the Journal Hypertension Research.