Article

Low levels of docosahexaenoic acid identified in acute coronary syndrome patients with depression

School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia.
Psychiatry Research (Impact Factor: 2.68). 04/2006; 141(3):279-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2005.08.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT As deficiencies in n-3 PUFAs have been linked separately to depression and to cardiovascular disease, they could act as a higher order variable contributing to the established link between depression and cardiovascular disease. We therefore examine the relationship between depression and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), including total n-3 PUFA, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). Plasma phospholipid levels of n-3 PUFA were measured in 100 patients hospitalized with ACS. Current major depressive episode was assessed by the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Depression severity was assessed by the 18-item Depression in the Medically Ill (DMI-18) measure. Patients clinically diagnosed with current depression had significantly lower mean total n-3 PUFA and DHA levels. Higher DMI-18 depression severity scores were significantly associated with lower DHA levels, with similar but non-significant trends observed for EPA and total n-3 PUFA levels. The finding that low DHA levels were associated with depression variables in ACS patients may explain links demonstrated between cardiovascular health and depression, and may have prophylactic and treatment implications.

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    • "The parent substrates from which n-3 and n-6 PUFA are derived (alpha-linolenic acid, ALA; and linoleic acid, LA; respectively) are essential fatty acids, as they can be derived only from the diet (Rees, Austin, & Parker, 2005; Sontrop & Campbell, 2006). This is of concern with regard to the typical Western dietary pattern (Oddy, Robinson, Ambrosini, O'Sullivan, de Klerk, Beilin et al., 2009), which is low in n-3 PUFA from oily fish and seafood. "
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