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N-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), particularly linoleic acid (LA), have been associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), but little is known about their antiarrhythmic properties. We investigated the association of the serum n-6 PUFAs with the risk of atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common type of cardiac arrhythmia. The study included 2450 men from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study, aged 42-60 years at baseline. The total n-6 PUFA includes linoleic acid (LA), arachidonic acid (AA), γ-linolenic acid (GLA) and dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA). Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate hazard ratio (HR) of incident events. During the mean follow-up of 22.4 years, 486 AF cases occurred. The multivariable-adjusted HR in the highest versus the lowest quartile of total serum n-6 PUFA concentration was 0.79 (95% CI 0.58-1.08, P trend = 0.04). When evaluated individually, only serum LA concentration was inversely associated with AF risk (multivariable-adjusted extreme-quartile HR 0.69, 95% CI 0.51-0.94, P trend = 0.02). These associations were stronger among the men without history of CHD or congestive heart failure at baseline, compared to men with such disease history (P for interaction = 0.05 for total n-6 PUFA and LA). Similar associations were observed with dietary LA and AA intakes. No significant associations were observed with serum AA, GLA or DGLA concentrations. Higher circulating concentration and dietary intake of n-6 PUFA, mainly LA, are associated with lower risk of AF, especially among men without history of CHD or congestive heart failure. © 2021. The Author(s).


Behnam Tajik, Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen, Masoud Isanejad, Jukka T Salonen, Jyrki K Virtanen. Serum n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of atrial fibrillation: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. European journal of nutrition. 2022 Jun;61(4):1981-1989

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PMID: 34961890

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