Intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) lowers the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular events, particularly ischemic heart disease. In addition, the ratio of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; n-3 PUFA) to arachidonic acid (AA; n-6 PUFA) has recently been recognized as a risk marker of cardiovascular disease. In contrast, the prognostic impact of the EPA/AA ratio on patients with heart failure (HF) remains unclear.
A total of 577 consecutive patients admitted for HF were divided into 2 groups based on median of the EPA/AA ratio: low EPA/AA (EPA/AA <0.32 mg/dl, n = 291) and high EPA/AA (EPA/AA ≥0.32, n = 286) groups. We compared laboratory data and echocardiographic findings and followed cardiac mortality. Although body mass index, blood pressure, B-type natriuretic peptide, hemoglobin, estimated glomerular filtration rate, total protein, albumin, sodium, C-reactive protein, and left ventricular ejection fraction did not differ between the 2 groups, cardiac mortality was significantly higher in the low EPA/AA group than in the high EPA/AA group (12.7 vs 5.9%, log-rank P = .004). Multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis revealed that the EPA/AA ratio was an independent predictor of cardiac mortality (hazard ratio 0.677, 95% confidence interval 0.453-0.983, P = .041) in patients with HF.
The EPA/AA ratio was an independent predictor of cardiac mortality in patients with HF; therefore, the prognosis of patients with HF may be improved by taking appropriate management to control the EPA/AA balance.

PMID: 27138463

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