Recent studies have highlighted the potential protective role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) in asthma. This study aimed at determining the association between seafood intake, serum PUFA composition and clinical endpoints of asthma in adults.
A cross-sectional study of 642 subjects used the European Committee Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) questionnaire, skin prick tests, spirometry and methacholine challenge tests following ATS guidelines. Sera was analysed for n-3 and n-6 PUFA composition. Subjects had a mean age of 34 years, were largely female (65%) and 51% were current smokers. While 99% reported fish consumption, rock lobster, mussels, squid and abalone were also consumed less frequently. The prevalence of asthma symptoms was 11%, current asthma (ECRHS definition) was 8% and non-specific bronchial hyperresponsiveness (NSBH) was much higher (26%)
In adjusted models the n-3 PUFAs 20:5 (EPA) and 22:5 (DPA) were significantly associated with a decreased risk of having NSBH. Total n-3 PUFA composition was associated with decreased NSBH risk (OR = 0.92), while high n-6 PUFA composition was associated with an increased risk (OR = 1.14).
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