Recent gene-environment interaction studies suggest that diet may influence an individual's genetic predisposition to cardiovascular risk. We evaluated whether omega-3 fatty acid intake may influence the risk for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) conferred by genetic polymorphisms among patients with early onset ACS.

Our population consisted of 705 patients of white European descent enrolled in GENESIS-PRAXY, a multicenter cohort study of patients aged 18-55 years and hospitalized with ACS. We used a case-only design to investigate interactions between the omega-3 index (a validated biomarker of omega-3 fatty acid intake) and 30 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) robustly associated with ACS. We used logistic regression to assess the interaction between each SNP and the omega-3 index. Interaction was also assessed between the omega-3 index and a genetic risk score generated from the 30 SNPs. All models were adjusted for age and sex. An interaction for increased ACS risk was found between carriers of the chromosome 9p21 variant rs4977574 and low omega-3 index (OR 1.57, 95% CI 1.07-2.32, p = 0.02), but this was not significant after correction for multiple testing. Similar results were obtained in the adjusted model (OR 1.55, 95% CI 1.05-2.29, p = 0.03). We did not observe any interaction between the genetic risk score or any of the other SNPs and the omega-3 index.

Our results suggest that omega-3 fatty acid intake may modify the genetic risk conferred by chromosome 9p21 variation in the development of early onset ACS and requires independent replication.