Evidence that intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) may modify blood pressure (BP) is generally limited to middle-aged or hypertensive populations. This study examined cross-sectional associations between BP and dietary intake of PUFAs in 814 adolescents aged 13-15 years participating in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Fatty acid intakes were assessed using 3-day diet records and resting BP was determined using multiple oscillometric readings. In multivariate regression models, systolic BP was inversely associated with intakes of polyunsaturated (b0.436, P0.01), omega-3 (b2.47, P0.02), omega-6 (b0.362, P0.04) and long chain omega-3 fatty acids (b4.37, P0.04) in boys. Diastolic BP and mean arterial pressure were inversely associated with intakes of long chain omega-3 fatty acids in boys (b3.93, P0.01, b4.05, P0.01, respectively). For specific long-chain omega-3s, significant inverse associations were observed between eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid, such as systolic BP decreasing by 4.7 mm Hg (95% CI-9.3 to 0.1) for a quarter gram increase in EPA, but no significant associations were observed with docosapentaenoic acid. No significant associations were observed in girls, or with the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Our results suggest that gender may moderate relationships between fatty acid intake and BP in adolescence.
- blood pressure
- polyunsaturated fatty acids