Marine n-3 fatty acids, wine intake, and heart rate variability in patients referred for coronary angiography.
Circulation. 2001; 103(5):651-7 (ISSN: 1524-4539)
Christensen JH; Skou HA; Fog L; Hansen V; Vesterlund T; Dyerberg J; Toft E; Schmidt EB
Department of Nephrology, Aalborg Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark.
BACKGROUND: Dietary n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) derived from fish may reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac death (SCD). In addition, wine drinking is suggested to have a protective effect against cardiovascular death. METHODS AND RESULTS: We included 291 patients referred for coronary angiography in whom ischemic heart disease was suspected and all of whom completed a food questionnaire regarding fish and wine intake. The n-3 PUFA composition of granulocyte membranes and of adipose tissue was measured. In addition, 24-hour heart rate variability (HRV) was analyzed. Fish intake was positively associated with the level of n-3 PUFAs in adipose tissue. Significant positive correlation coefficients were found between HRV indices and the levels of n-3 PUFAs in granulocytes. Wine intake was also significantly positively related to HRV, but the patients with the highest wine intake also had the highest intake of fish, as documented by a high n-3 PUFA content in adipose tissue. Multiple linear regression analysis revealed that traditional factors such as treatment with ss-blockers, smoking, age, and previous myocardial infarction were independently related to HRV, and furthermore that n-3 PUFAs (but not wine intake) were significantly independently associated with HRV. CONCLUSIONS: The close positive association between n-3 PUFAs and HRV in patients suspected of having ischemic heart disease may indicate a protective effect of n-3 PUFAs against SCD. This may partly explain the reduction in SCD observed in humans with a modest intake of n-3 PUFA. Wine intake was also positively correlated with HRV, but this correlation was no longer significant after controlling for the cellular level of n-3 PUFA.