Aim: The present study aimed to explore the association between dietary long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (LCn3PUFA) intake and cardiovascular risk indicators (ankle brachial index, resting heart rate and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity) in a clinical sample of overweight and obese participants volunteering for a weight loss trial.
Methods: This was a secondary analysis of baseline data from the HealthTrack study (n = 351). LCn3PUFA intake was calculated via a diet history and the association with ankle brachial index, resting heart rate and brachio-ankle pulse wave velocity was explored using linear regression after controlling for covariates.
Results: LCn3PUFA intake was inversely associated with ankle brachial index (R2change = 0.021, F change (1, 339) = 8.864, P < 0.05) and resting heart rate (R2change = 0.014, F change (1, 342) = 5.337, P < 0.05) but not with brachio-ankle pulse wave velocity (R2change = 0.001, F change (1, 339) = 0.725, P > 0.05).
Conclusions: In this clinical sample of overweight adults, LCn3PUFA consumption was significantly associated with a lower resting heart rate, adding to the current evidence on the potential benefits of LCn3PUFA consumption. It also supports the value of targeting a diet rich in this nutrient when planning future dietetic approaches. Relationships with ankle brachial index and pulse wave velocity require further investigation. Future research should assess the effect of changes in dietary LCn3PUFA intake on novel cardiovascular risk indicators.