Research: CHRISTENSEN and colleague

Listed in Issue 69


CHRISTENSEN and colleagues, Department of Nephrology, Aalborg Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark,, examined associations between n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and 24-hour heart rate variability (HRV) in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).


Dietary PUFA derived from fish may reduce the incidence of sudden cardiac death (SCD).


This was an observational study conducted at the outpatients' diabetic clinic at Hjoerring Hospital, Hjoerring, Denmark. 43 patients with type 1 DM and 38 with type 2 DM completed a food questionnaire regarding fish consumption, and their platelet content of n-3 PUFA and 24-hour HRV were measured.


Patients' fish consumption was strongly related to their platelet n-3 PUFA content. In addition, patients with type 1 DM showed a close positive association between platelet n-3 PUFA content and 24-hour HRV (this association was not significant in patients with type 2 DM).


The findings may indicate a beneficial effect of n-3 PUFA on HRV in patients with type 1 DM . Further studies are warranted to investigate whether supplementation with n-3 PUFA reduces the risk of SCD amongst patients with DM.


Christensen JH et al. Heart rate variability and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with diabetes mellitus. Journal of Internal Medicine 249 (6): 545-52. Jun 2001.

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