Research: LUKASCHEK abd COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 262

Abstract

LUKASCHEK abd COLLEAGUES, 1. Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University of Gießen, Gießen, Germany conducted a cross-sectional analysis among people aged 68-92 years [KORA-Age Study] to measure eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (omega-3 index) as a percentage of total fatty acids.

Background

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) may affect the risk of cognitive decline in older adults.

Methodology

Cross-sectional analysis was conducted among 720 (50.4% women) participants aged 68-92 years (mean age: 77.6, SD ±6.2) of the population-based KORA-Age study. Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (omega-3 index) were measured in erythrocytes as a percentage of total fatty acids. The categories low (<5.7), intermediate (5.7-6.8), and high (>6.8) levels of the omega-3 index were built using tertiles. The association between cognitive status and omega-3 levels was assessed by logistic regression analyses with adjustments for important concurrent risk factors of cognitive decline.

Results

In the sex- and age-adjusted model (model 1), subjects with a low omega-3 index were at a significantly higher risk for cognitive impairment (OR: 1.77, 95% CI: 1.15-2.73, p = 0.009). This association remained stable after further adjusting for educational level (model 2; OR: 1.75, 95% CI: 1.13-2.71, p = 0.01) and metabolic risk factors (model 3; OR: 1.77, 95% CI: 1.14-2.75, p = 0.01). After further controlling for affective disorders (model 4), the association did not attenuate (OR: 1.77, 95% CI: 1.14-2.76, p = 0.01).

Conclusion

A robust association was found between low omega-3 levels and cognitive impairment in an elderly population. Further research is needed to understand the link between omega-3 PUFA and cognitive functioning.

References

Lukaschek K1, von Schacky C, Kruse J, Ladwig KH. Cognitive Impairment Is Associated with a Low Omega-3 Index in the Elderly: Results from the KORA-Age Study. Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 42(3-4):236-245. 2016. Epub Oct 5 2016.

Comment

The above study indicated a strong association between low level of omega-3 and risk of cognitive impairment.

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