Higher omega-3 fatty acid intake tied to lower glaucoma risk

December 26, 2017

(HealthDay)—Increased daily intake of ω-3 fatty acids is associated with lower odds of glaucoma, but higher levels of total polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake are associated with higher odds of developing glaucoma, according to a study published online Dec. 21 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Ye Elaine Wang, M.D., from the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues used data from 3,865 participants (aged 40 and older) in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005 to 2008) to assess the association between and daily dietary intake of PUFAs, including ω-3 fatty acids, among the U.S. population. Of the 83,643,392 weighted survey participants included in the cross-sectional study, 3.7 percent met criteria for glaucoma.

The researchers found that increased levels of daily dietary intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (odds ratio [OR], 0.06) and docosahexaenoic acid (OR, 0.06) were associated with significantly lower odds of having glaucoma. However, there were significantly increased odds of meeting diagnostic criteria for glaucoma among participants with daily total dietary PUFA intake levels in the second (OR, 2.84) and third (OR, 2.97) quartiles.

"This study also hypothesizes that increasing the proportion of dietary ω-3 consumption levels while controlling overall daily PUFA intake may be protective against glaucoma," the authors write. "However, longitudinal studies or are needed to assess these hypotheses."

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