NEW YORK Women with Type 1 diabetes may not necessarily reduce their risk of heart disease if they consume omega-3 fatty acids, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study.
The study, which examined 601 men and women with Type 1 diabetes (diagnosed with the disease between 1950 and 1980), found that 166 participants (27.6%) were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease, and that omega-3 intake -- an acid primarily found in fish that promotes heart health -- among participants was low. The incidence of heart disease was lowest in men who consumed the highest quantities of omega-3 -- more than 0.2 grams per day. Women who consumed similar amounts of omega-3 did not have lower rates of heart disease.
"Although omega-3 is typically associated with decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, this may not be the case for women who have Type 1 diabetes," said Tina Costacou, Ph.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor of epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. "Importantly, our study suggests we shouldn't assume men and women with Type 1 diabetes are the same."
Study co-authors included Cathy E. Lloyd, Ph.D., and Trevor Orchard, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.