Higher dietary intake of long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids is inversely associated with depressive symptoms in women

Laura A. Colangelo*, Ka He, Mary A. Whooley, Martha L. Daviglus, Kiang Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Experimental and observational data suggest that a higher dietary intake of long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated acids may lead to a decreased risk of depressive disorders. We assessed multivariable-adjusted associations of fish consumption and dietary intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) with depressive symptoms in a population-based sample of 3317 African-American and Caucasian men and women from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study. Methods: Diet was assessed in year 7 (1992-1993) and depressive symptoms were measured in years 10 (1995-1996), 15 (2000-2001), and 20 (2005-2006) by the 20-item Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Depressive symptoms were defined as a Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale score ≥16 or self-reported use of antidepressant medication. Results: In the entire cohort, the highest quintiles of intakes of EPA (≥0.03% energy), DHA (≥0.05% energy), and EPA + DHA (≥0.08% energy) were associated with a lower risk of depressive symptoms at year 10 (P for trends = 0.16, 0.10, and 0.03, respectively). The observed inverse associations were more pronounced in women. For the total number of occasions with depressive symptoms, the multivariable adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) in women were 0.75 (0.55-1.01) for fish intake, 0.66 (0.50-0.89) for EPA, 0.66 (0.49-0.89) for DHA, and 0.71 (0.52-0.95) for EPA + DHA when comparing the highest with the lowest quintiles. Analyses of continuous Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale scores revealed inverse associations with fourth-root-transformed ω-3 variables in women. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that dietary intakes of fish and long-chain ω-3 fatty acids may be inversely associated with chronic depressive symptoms in women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1011-1019
Number of pages9
JournalNutrition
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Docosahexaenoic acid
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid
  • Fish
  • ω-3 Fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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