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Research Project: Preventing the Development of Childhood Obesity

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid biomarkers and sleep: A pooled analysis of cohort studies

item MURPHY, RACHEL - University Of British Columbia
item TINTLE, NATHAN - Dordt College
item HARRIS, WILLIAM - University Of South Dakota
item DARVISHIAN, MARYAM - Bc Cancer Agency
item MARKLUND, MATTI - University Of New South Wales
item VIRTANEN, JYRKI - University Of Eastern Finland
item HANTUNEN, SARI - University Of Eastern Finland
item DE MELLO, VANESSA - University Of Eastern Finland
item TUOMILEHTO, JAAKO - University Of Helsinki
item LINDSTROM, JAANA - Finnish Institute For Health And Welfare
item BOLT, MATTHEW - Dordt College
item BROUWER, INGEBORG - Vrije University
item WOOD, ALEXIS - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item SENN, MACKENZIE - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item REDLINE, SUSAN - Harvard Medical School
item TSAI, MICHAEL - University Of Minnesota
item GUDNASON, VILMUNDUR - Icelandic Heart Association
item EIRIKSDOTTIR, GUDNY - Icelandic Heart Association
item LINDBERG, EVA - Uppsala University
item SHADYAB, ALADDIN - University Of California, San Diego
item LIU, BUYUN - University Of Iowa
item CARNETHON, MERCEDES - Northwestern University
item UUSITUPA, MATTI - University Of Eastern Finland
item DJOUSSE, LUC - Brigham & Women'S Hospital
item RISERUS, ULF - Uppsala University
item LIND, LARS - Uppsala University
item VAN DAM, ROB - National University Of Singapore
item KOH, WOON - National University Of Singapore
item SHI, PEILIN - Friedman School At Tufts
item SISCOVICK, DAVID - New York Academy Of Medicine
item LEMAITRE, ROZENN - University Of Washington
item MOZAFFARIAN, DARIUSH - Friedman School At Tufts

Submitted to: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2021
Publication Date: 12/16/2021
Citation: Murphy, R.A., Tintle, N., Harris, W.S., Darvishian, M., Marklund, M., Virtanen, J.K., Hantunen, S., de Mello, V.D., Tuomilehto, J., Lindstrom, J., Bolt, M.A., Brouwer, I.A., Wood, A.C., Senn, M., Redline, S., Tsai, M.Y., Gudnason, V., Eiriksdottir, G., Lindberg, E., Shadyab, A.H., Liu, B., Carnethon, M., Uusitupa, M., Djousse, L., Riserus, U., Lind, L., van Dam, R.M., Koh, W.P., Shi, P., Siscovick, D., Lemaitre, R.N., Mozaffarian, D. 2021. Omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid biomarkers and sleep: A pooled analysis of cohort studies. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Interpretive Summary: Regularly experiencing a low duration, or a low quality, of sleep is emerging as an important cause of overweight/obesity. Two types of fat found in blood, known as n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), have physiologic roles in sleep processes. One source of this fat is our diet, but little is known about whether dietary intake of n-3 and n-6 PUFA is associated with sleep quality. We examined this question using data from over 25,000 adults participating in 13 large-scale studies from around the world. Our analyses found that adults who consumed more n-3 PUFAs in their diet had a shorter sleep duration than those who consumed less. We did not find any associations between sleep duration or quality and the amount of n-6 PUFAs consumed. If additional studies confirm these conclusions, and use methods that can examine whether the observed association is causal, this information might eventually help us increase how long individuals tend to sleep and ultimately, alongside other interventions, contribute to reducing the prevalence of overweight/obesity in the population.

Technical Abstract: n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have physiologic roles in sleep processes, but little is known regarding circulating n-3 and n-6 PUFA and sleep parameters. The objective of the study was to assess associations between biomarkers of n-3 and n-6 PUFA intake with self-reported sleep duration and difficulty falling sleeping in the Fatty Acids and Outcome Research Consortium. Harmonized, de novo, individual-level analyses were performed and pooled across 12 cohorts. Participants were between 35 to 96 years old and from 5 nations. Circulating measures included alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), EPA+DPA+DHA, linoleic acid and arachidonic acid. Sleep duration (10 cohorts, N=18,791) was categorized as short (<=6 hours), 7-8 hours (reference) or long (9+ hours). Difficulty falling sleeping (8 cohorts, N=12,500) was categorized as yes or no. Associations between PUFAs, sleep duration, and difficulty falling sleeping were assessed by cross-sectional multinomial logistic regression using standardized protocols and covariates. Cohort-specific multivariable-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) per quintile of PUFAs were pooled with inverse-variance weighted meta-analysis. In pooled analysis adjusted for sociodemographics and health status, participants with higher very long-chain n-3 PUFAs were less likely to have long sleep duration. Comparing top vs. bottom quintiles, the multivariable-adjusted OR (95% confidence interval, CI) for long-sleep was 0.78 (0.65, 0.95) for DHA and for EPA+DPA+DHA, 0.76 (0.63, 0.93). Significant associations were not identified for ALA and n-6 PUFA with short sleep duration, or difficulty falling sleeping. Participants with higher levels of very long-chain n-3 PUFAs were less likely to have long sleep duration. While objective biomarkers reduce recall bias and misclassification, the cross-sectional design limits assessment of the temporal nature of this relationship. These novel findings across 12 cohorts highlight the need for experimental and biological assessments of very long-chain n-3 PUFAs and sleep duration.