Serum Levels of Dihomo-Gamma (γ)-Linolenic Acid (DGLA) Are Inversely Associated with Linoleic Acid and Total Death in Elderly Patients with a Recent Myocardial Infarction
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNutrients. 2021, 13 (10), 3475. 10.3390/nu13103475
Dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) is an n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) derived from linoleic acid (LA). The LA:DGLA ratio reflects conversion from LA to DGLA. Low levels of DGLA in serum have been related to poor outcome in myocardial infarction (MI) patients. Aims: To assess the association of DGLA and LA:DGLA with total death as a primary aim and incident cardiovascular events as a secondary objective. Methods: Baseline samples from 1002 patients, aged 70 to 82 years, included 2–8 weeks after an MI and followed for 2 years, were used. Major adverse clinical events (MACE) consisted of nonfatal MI, unscheduled coronary revascularization, stroke, hospitalization for heart failure or all-cause death. Cox regression analysis was used to relate serum n-6 PUFA phospholipid levels (%wt) to the risk of MACE, adjusting for the following: (1) age, sex and body mass index (BMI); (2) adding baseline cod liver oil supplementation; (3) adding prevalent hypertension, chronic kidney disease and diabetes mellitus. Results: Median DGLA level in serum phospholipids was 2.89 (Q1–Q3 2.43–3.38) %wt. DGLA was inversely related to LA and LA:DGLA ratio. There were 208 incident cases of MACE and 55 deaths. In the multivariable analysis, the hazard ratio (HR) for the total death in the three higher quartiles (Q2–4) of DGLA as compared to Q1 was 0.54 (0.31–0.95), with p = 0.03 (Model-1), 0.50 (0.28–0.91), with p = 0.02 (Model-2), and 0.47 (0.26–0.84), with p = 0.012 (Model-3), and non-significant for MACE. Risk of MACE (Model 3) approached borderline significance for LA:DGLA in Q2–4 vs. Q1 [HR 1.42 (1.00–2.04), p = 0.052]. Conclusions: Low levels of DGLA were related to a high LA:DGLA ratio and risk of total death in elderly patients with recent MI.