Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-4hhp2 Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-21T15:02:27.685Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Associations of the serum n-6 PUFA with exercise cardiac power in men

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 August 2022

Haleh Esmaili
Affiliation:
University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Kuopio, Finland
Behnam Tajik
Affiliation:
University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Kuopio, Finland
Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen
Affiliation:
University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Kuopio, Finland
Sudhir Kurl
Affiliation:
University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Kuopio, Finland
Jukka T. Salonen
Affiliation:
University of Helsinki, the Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, Helsinki, Finland Metabolic Analytical Services Oy, Helsinki, Finland
Jyrki K. Virtanen*
Affiliation:
University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio Campus, Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, Kuopio, Finland
*
*Corresponding author: Jyrki K. Virtanen, email jyrki.virtanen@uef.fi
Rights & Permissions [Opens in a new window]

Abstract

Low intake or tissue concentrations of the n-6 PUFA, especially to the major n-6 PUFA linoleic acid (LA), and low exercise cardiac power (ECP) are both associated with CVD risk. However, associations of the n-6 PUFA with ECP are unknown. The aim of the present study was to explore cross-sectional associations of the serum total n-6 PUFA, LA, arachidonic acid (AA), γ-linolenic acid (GLA) and dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA) concentrations with ECP and its components. In total, 1685 men aged 42–60 years from the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study and free of CVD were included. ANCOVA was used to examine the mean values of ECP (maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max)/maximal systolic blood pressure (SBP)) and its components in quartiles of the serum total and individual n-6 PUFA concentrations. After multivariable adjustments, higher serum total n-6 PUFA concentration was associated with higher ECP and VO2max (for ECP, the extreme-quartile difference was 0·77 ml/mmHg (95 % CI 0·38, 1·16, P for trend across quartiles < 0·001) and for VO2max 157 ml/min (95 % CI 85, 230, P for trend < 0·001), but not with maximal SBP. Similar associations were observed with serum LA concentration. Higher serum AA concentration was associated with higher ECP but not with VO2max or maximal SBP. The minor serum n-6 PUFA GLA and DGLA were associated with higher maximal SBP during exercise test and DGLA also with higher VO2max but neither with ECP. In conclusion, especially LA concentration was associated with higher ECP. This may provide one mechanism for the cardioprotective properties of, especially, LA.

Type
Research Article
Creative Commons
Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BY
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution and reproduction, provided the original article is properly cited.
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Nutrition Society

CVD are the leading cause of mortality, morbidity and disability worldwide, with approximately one-third of all causes of death(Reference Joseph, Leong and McKee1). It has been shown that low cardiac capacity during exercise is an independent indicator of CHD, heart failure and CVD mortality(Reference Kurl, Jae and Mäkikallio2Reference Kurl, Mäkikallio and Jae4); however, it does not consider the differences of the cardiovascular resistance and cardiac afterload(Reference Kurl, Jae and Kauhanen5). Cardiovascular resistance refers to the reduction of peripheral vascular blood flow, while cardiovascular afterload refers to the high intraluminal pressure in arteries during ventricular contraction(Reference Kurl, Laukkanen and Niskanen6,Reference Zohdi, Black and Pearson7) . Exercise cardiac power (ECP) during an exercise test reflects the peak of cardiac capacity and cardiac output(Reference Kurl, Mäkikallio and Jae4). ECP is a beneficial prognostic method for the risk prediction of CVD by taking into account maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and maximal systolic blood pressure (SBP) during exercise(Reference Kurl, Jae and Mäkikallio2). ECP provides information of cardiorespiratory fitness, the differences in cardiovascular resistance and also SBP as the cardiac afterload.

Previously in the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD) cohort, lower ECP was associated with increased risk of sudden cardiac death and stroke in men(Reference Kurl, Jae and Kauhanen5,Reference Kurl, Laukkanen and Niskanen6) . Substantial evidence from epidemiological studies has found a strong inverse association of the ECP components, VO2max and elevated exercise-induced SBP, with CVD risk(Reference Kaminsky, Arena and Ellingsen8Reference Schultz, la Gerche and Sharman10). In line with this finding, in the KIHD cohort, low VO2max and high SBP during exercise have been found to be associated with risk of sudden cardiac death in men(Reference Kurl, Jae and Kauhanen5). Although data from clinical trials regarding effects of high n-6 PUFA intake (mainly replacing saturated fat in diet) in CVD prevention are controversial(Reference Virtanen11), epidemiological evidence suggests that higher intake of dietary n-6 PUFA play an important role in CVD prevention(Reference Wang12). Linoleic acid (LA, 18:2n-6), as the predominant n-6 PUFA, is found primarily in vegetable oils, nuts and oily seeds(Reference Abedi and Sahari13). LA can be endogenously converted to γ-linolenic acid (GLA, 18:3n-6), GLA to dihomo-γ-linolenic acid (DGLA; 20:3n-6) and DGLA to arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n-6)(Reference Abedi and Sahari13). AA can be also found in animal sources including meat, egg and fish(Reference Harris, Mozaffarian and Rimm14). The fatty acid desaturase and elongase enzymes responsible for the conversion are also involved in the conversion of the n-3 PUFA α-linolenic acid (ALA) to longer-chain n-3 PUFA. However, because LA is the major PUFA in the diet, it is the dominant substrate for the pathway(Reference Djuricic and Calder15). High LA intake could theoretically be disadvantageous for cardiac health if the conversion of ALA to the longer-chain n-3 PUFA EPA and DHA is reduced; however, LA does not seem to modify the associations of the long-chain n-3 PUFA with CHD risk(Reference del Gobbo, Imamura and Aslibekyan16). In fact, higher intake or tissue concentrations of LA have been reported to be associated with lower risk of total CVD and CVD mortality; however, the associations of the other n-6 PUFA, GLA, DGLA and AA with CVD risk are less investigated, and findings are more controversial compared with those with LA(Reference Marklund, Wu and Imamura17,Reference Li, Guasch-Ferré and Li18) .

There is no prior research data on the associations of the n-6 PUFA with SBP during exercise, although the limited prior evidence indicates that the n-6 PUFA may have an impact on resting SBP(Reference Tsukamoto and Sugawara19,Reference Yang, Ding and Yan20) . Similarly, there is very limited prior data that suggest that some n-6 PUFA may associate with VO2max (Reference Tsou and Wu21,Reference Izumida, Kawano and Muroya22) . Therefore, our aim was to explore the associations of the serum n-6 PUFA with maximal SBP and VO2max during exercise and especially with ECP that take both of these factors into account, among middle-aged and older men from the KIHD cohort.

Materials and methods

Participants

The data used in the current study are from the KIHD cohort, collected at the baseline examinations of the KIHD in 1984 and 1989. The KIHD is a prospective population-based study to investigate risk factors for CVD, carotid atherosclerosis and related outcomes. The participants are an age-stratified sample of men from eastern Finland(Reference Salonen23). At the baseline, a total of 2682 men (82·9 % of the eligible) aged 42, 48, 54, or 60 years participated in the examinations. The KIHD study protocol was approved by the research ethics committee of the University of Kuopio. Each participant provided written informed consent. Study participants were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of the current study. From the analyses, we excluded participants with missing data on ECP measurements (n 207), a history of CVD (n 677) and those with missing data on the serum n-6 PUFA (n 113). After the exclusions, 1685 men were included in the analysis.

Ethical approval

This study was conducted according to the guidelines laid down in the Declaration of Helsinki, and all procedures involving human subjects were approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Kuopio (1·12·1983). Written informed consent was obtained from all participants.

Measurements

Fasting venous blood samples were obtained between 08.00 and 10.00 at the baseline examinations of the KIHD in 1984–1989. The subjects were instructed to abstain from ingesting alcohol for 3 d and from smoking and eating for 12 h before giving the sample. Details of the medical history, current medications, smoking status, alcohol intake, serum lipids and lipoproteins, and resting blood pressure measurements have been published previously(Reference Salonen23). Physical activity was assessed according to the 12-month leisure-time physical activity questionnaire and expressed as kcal/d(Reference Lakka, Venalainen and Rauramaa24). BMI was computed as the ratio of weight in kilograms to the square of height in metres. Self-administered questionnaires were used to evaluate the years of education and annual income of study participants. In this study, systolic/diastolic blood pressure > 140/90 mmHg or use of antihypertensive medication was considered as hypertension(Reference Salonen, Nyyssönen and Korpela25). To measure high-sensitivity serum C-reactive protein (CRP) concentrations, an immunometric assay (Immulite High Sensitivity CRP Assay; DPC) was used. Dietary intakes were assessed at the time of blood sampling in 1984–1989 with an instructed and interviewer-checked 4-d food recording by household measures(Reference Virtanen, Mursu and Tuomainen26). The days were not necessarily consecutive for all participants, but for all participants one of the days was a weekend day. Participants used a picture book of common foods and dishes to help in estimation of portion sizes. A nutritionist checked the food records together with the participant at the study visit for possible errors or omissions.

Serum fatty acid measurements

Serum esterified and non-stratified fatty acids were measured in one gas chromatographic run without preseparation in 1991 from samples that had been collected at baseline in 1981–1989 and had been stored at –80°C, as described in detail previously(Reference Laaksonen, Lakka and Lakka27). Serum fatty acids were extracted with chloroform-methanol. Chloroform phase was evaporated and treated with sodium methoxide, which methylated esterified fatty acids. Quantification was carried out with reference standards (Check Prep Inc., Elysian, MN). Each analyte had individual reference standard, and an internal standard was eicosan. Fatty acids were chromatographed in an NB-351 capillary column (HNU-Nordion, Helsinki, Finland) by a Hewlett-Packard 5890 Series II gas chromatograph (Hewlett-Packard Company, Avondale, PA, since 1999 Agilent Technologies Inc.) with a flame ionisation detector. Results were obtained and presented as a proportion of total serum fatty acids in μmol/l. For repeated serum fatty acid measurements, the CV was 8·7 % for LA (18:2n-6), 11·6 % for GLA (18:3n-6), 8·3 % for DGLA (20:3n-6) and 9·9 % for AA (20:4n-6). For the serum total n-6 PUFA concentration, we used the sum of LA, GLA, DGLA and AA.

Assessment of exercise cardiac power

The maximal symptom-limited exercise tolerance test was performed at the KIHD baseline in 1984–1989 to assess oxygen consumption and SBP. A detailed description has been given previously(Reference Tajik, Kurl and Tuomainen28). The test was performed between 08.00 and 10.00 using an electrically braked bicycle ergometer (Medical Fitness Equipment 400 L bicycle Ergometer)(Reference Lakka, Laukkanen and Rauramaa3) with a direct analysis of respiratory gases (Medical Graphics). The standard protocol included an increase in the workload of 20 W/min. The VO2max was defined as the highest value for or the plateau of oxygen uptake. Blood pressure was measured every 2 min both manually and automatically during exercise until the test was stopped and every 2 min after exercise. The highest SBP during the exercise test was considered as the maximal exercise SBP. ECP was defined as VO2max/maximal SBP during exercise(Reference Kurl, Laukkanen and Niskanen6). For safety reasons, all tests were supervised by an experienced physician with the assistance of an experienced nurse. Electrocardiography was recorded with the Kone 620 electrocardiograph(Reference Laukkanen, Mäkikallio and Rauramaa29).

Statistical analysis

Spearman’s correlation coefficients (r) were applied to estimate the correlations between the individual n-6 PUFA. The mean values of ECP, VO2max and maximal SBP during exercise in the exposure quartiles were analysed using ANCOVA. The extreme-quartile difference refers to the difference between the highest and the lowest quartile. Two different models were used to control for potential confounding factors, mainly based on our previous analysis between the long-chain n-3 PUFA and ECP(Reference Tajik, Kurl and Tuomainen28) and on the associations with exposure in the current analyses. Model 1 was adjusted for age (years) and the year of examination. Model 2 included the variables in the model 1 plus BMI (kg/m2), smoking status (yes/no), leisure-time physical activity (kcal/d), antihypertensive medication use (yes/no), income (euros), years of education, serum long-chain n-3 PUFA (% of all serum fatty acids) and alcohol intake (g/week). Additional adjustments for other potential confounders, including energy intake, carbohydrate intake or bronchial asthma, did not appreciably change the associations (< 5 % change in estimates). Missing covariate values (< 0·5 %) were replaced by the cohort mean. For testing the linear trends across the n-6 PUFA quartiles, the median value of each fatty acid quartile was used as a continuous variable. All P-values were two-tailed (α = 0·05). SPSS software version 27 (IBM Corp) was used to analyse data.

Results

Baseline characteristics

The mean ± sd age of the participants was 52·8 ± 5·1 years. The mean ± sd serum concentrations, as a percentage of all serum fatty acids, were 33·15 ± 4·58 % for the serum total n-6 PUFA concentration, 26·70 ± 4·40 % for LA, 0·28 ± 0·11 % for GLA, 1·34 ± 0·27 % for DGLA and 4·82 ± 1·00 % for AA. The inter-correlations between the individual n-6 PUFA were weak, except for a moderate correlation between GLA and DGLA: (r = –0·20 for LA and GLA), (r = –0·09 for LA and DGLA), (r = 0·12 for LA and AA), (r = 0·55 for GLA and DGLA), (r = 0·19 for GLA and AA) and (r = 0·07 for DGLA and AA). Baseline characteristics of the participants according to quartiles of the total n-6 PUFA concentration are presented in the Table 1. Men with higher concentration were more likely to have a higher annual income and education, leisure-time physical activity, serum n-3 PUFA concentration, and HDL and LDL cholesterol concentrations, but lower serum TAG concentration and systolic and diastolic blood pressure. They were also younger and had lower BMI and alcohol intake, and they were less likely to have hypertension and diabetes, and less likely to smoke.

Table 1. Baseline characteristics according to the quartiles of total serum n-6 PUFA concentrations*

Q, quartiles; LA, linoleic acid; GLA, γ-linolenic acid; DGLA, dihomo-γ-linolenic acid; AA, arachidonic acid.

* Values are means (sd) or percentages. Data were analysed with linear regression for continuous variables and the χ2 test for categorical variables.

Antihypertensive and anti-hyperlipidemia medication.

Proportion of all serum fatty acids.

§ P for trend refers to the linear trend across the fatty acid quartiles.

Serum n-6 PUFA concentrations and exercise cardiac power

The mean ± sd ECP was 12·45 ± 3·07 ml/mmHg. After adjustment for age and examination year (model 1), higher serum total n-6 PUFA concentration was associated with higher ECP ((the extreme-quartile difference in ECP in the serum total n-6 PUFA concentrations was 0·90 ml/mmHg (95 % CI 0·51, 1·29)) (Table 2). Further adjustments only slightly weakened the association (model 2, Table 2). Similar association with higher ECP was also observed with LA and AA (Table 2). Also, DGLA had a weak association with higher ECP, although the mean difference between the extreme quartiles did not reach statistical significance (Table 2). No significant associations were found between serum GLA and ECP.

Table 2. Exercise cardiac power in quartiles of serum n-6 PUFA concentrations *

LA, linoleic acid; GLA, γ-linolenic acid; DGLA, dihomo-γ-linolenic acid and AA, arachidonic acid.

* Values are means (95 % CI). Data were analysed with ANCOVA.

Model 1: adjusted for age and examination years.

Model 2: adjusted for model 1 plus BMI, smoking status, leisure-time physical activity, alcohol intake, use of antihypertensive medication, education, income and serum long-chain n-3 PUFA concentrations.

§ P for trend refers to the linear trend across the fatty acid quartiles.

Serum n-6 PUFA concentrations and VO2max

The mean ± sd VO2max was 2544 ± 578 ml/min. The serum total n-6 PUFA concentration was associated with higher VO2max after adjustment for age and year of examination (model 1) (the extreme-quartile difference 152 ml/min (95 % CI 79, 225), with little change in the multivariate-adjusted model (model 2). Also serum LA and DGLA concentrations were associated with higher VO2max ((the extreme-quartile difference 138 ml/min (95 % CI 64, 212) for LA and 143 ml/min (95 % CI 62, 223) for DGLA, respectively (model 2)). Serum AA was associated with higher VO2max in the model 1, but further adjustments attenuated the association, and it was not statistically significant anymore (Table 3). Serum GLA concentration was not associated with VO2max (Table 3).

Table 3. Maximal oxygen uptake (ml/min) in quartiles of serum n-6 PUFA concentrations*

LA, linoleic acid; GLA, γ-linolenic acid; DGLA, dihomo-γ-linolenic acid and AA, arachidonic acid.

* Values are means (95 % CI). Data were analysed with ANCOVA.

Model 1: adjusted for age and examination years.

Model 2: adjusted for model 1 plus BMI, smoking status, leisure-time physical activity, alcohol intake, use of antihypertensive medication, education, income and serum long-chain n-3 PUFA concentrations.

§ P for trend refers to the linear trend across the fatty acid quartiles.

Serum n-6 PUFA concentrations and maximal systolic blood pressure during exercise

The mean ± sd maximal SBP during exercise was 206·7 ± 26·6 mmHg. The serum total n-6 PUFA, LA and AA concentrations were not associated with maximal SBP during exercise (Table 4). GLA and DGLA were associated with higher maximal exercise SBP ((the extreme-quartile difference in the multivariate-adjusted model was 4·1 mmHg (95 % CI 0·2, 8·0) for GLA and 4·9 mmHg (95 % CI 0·9, 8·9) for DGLA (model 2, Table 4)).

Table 4. Maximal systolic blood pressure during exercise (mmHg) in quartiles of serum n-6 PUFA concentrations*

LA, linoleic acid; GLA, γ-linolenic acid; DGLA, dihomo-γ-linolenic acid and AA, arachidonic acid.

* Values are means (95 % CI). Data were analysed with ANCOVA.

Model 1: adjusted for age and examination years.

Model 2: model 1 plus BMI, smoking, leisure-time physical activity, alcohol intake, use of antihypertensive medication, education, income and serum long-chain n-3 PUFA concentrations.

§ P for trend refers to the linear trend across the fatty acid quartiles.

Sensitivity analysis

We investigated the associations of n-6 PUFA with ECP and its components after including only men with complete data in all variables (n 1631). However, the associations were not appreciably different compared with the main analysis. For example, the extreme-quartile difference in ECP in the serum total n-6 PUFA concentrations was 0·83 ml/mmHg (95 % CI 0·43, 1·23)).

Discussion

Our results of this cross-sectional study showed that the serum concentrations of total n-6 PUFA and LA, the most abundant n-6 PUFA, were associated with higher ECP and VO2max but not with maximal SBP during the exercise test among middle-aged and older men in eastern Finland. AA was associated with higher ECP. The minor n-6 PUFA GLA and DGLA were associated with higher maximal SBP during exercise test and DGLA also with higher VO2max. To our knowledge, our study is the first study to explore the association of serum n-6 PUFA concentrations with ECP and may provide one potential mechanism how especially LA could exert its cardioprotective properties.

There is little prior evidence regarding the association between n-6 PUFA and VO2max. Inconsistent with our study, in the cross-sectional National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) among 449 healthy participants (20–50-year-old), lower VO2max was observed with higher plasma levels of AA, while no associations were observed with higher LA, GLA and DGLA concentrations(Reference Tsou and Wu21). There is no apparent explanation for the differences in our results compared with findings in NHANES. For example, measurement of the fatty acid concentrations in different blood compartments (total plasma/serum, TAG, phospholipids etc.) could explain the different findings, but both the NHANES study and our study used similar measurements (total plasma and total serum). Moreover, in a study among fifty patients with non-ischaemic heart failure in a univariate analysis, serum AA was associated with higher VO2max, but serum DGLA did not have an association(Reference Izumida, Kawano and Muroya22). The other n-6 PUFA were not investigated in that study.

Maximal SBP during exercise test shows the general condition of the cardiovascular system and is one of the predictors of CVD(Reference Kjeldsen, Mundal and Sandvik30). Although resting blood pressure is a strong indicator of future CVD and hypertension, it has been found that higher maximal SBP during exercise tests can be a valuable predictor of future CVD and CVD mortality(Reference Kjeldsen, Mundal and Sandvik30). There is no prior data published on the associations of the n-6 PUFA on maximal SBP during exercise, and the study findings regarding the associations of the n-6 PUFA with resting blood pressure are controversial. In a systematic review and meta-analysis, no association was reported between n-6 PUFA concentrations (including LA, GLA, DGLA, AA or any combination) and blood pressure among healthy adults or adults at high risk of CVD(Reference Maki, Eren and Cassens31). Some studies among healthy people have suggested that a higher serum concentration of LA is associated with lower resting blood pressure, while higher serum AA is associated with higher blood pressure(Reference Tsukamoto and Sugawara19,Reference Yang, Ding and Yan20,Reference Zec, Schutte and Ricci32) . In addition, higher dietary LA intake in healthy adults with hypercholesterolemia significantly reduced blood pressure and vascular resistance, both at rest and during acute stress(Reference West, Krick and Klein33). Our findings of the direct association of GLA and DGLA with maximal exercise SBP are inconsistent with the previous review that highlighted the potential of GLA and DGLA to suppress inflammation and reduce blood pressure(Reference Sergeant, Rahbar and Chilton34). This inconsistency may be due to haemodynamic and vascular tone changes during an exercise, which is not taken into account for SBP at rest(Reference Naka, Tweddel and Parthimos35).

Potential mechanisms underlying the association of the serum LA with ECP may include the beneficial properties of this fatty acid to decrease inflammation and arterial stiffness, increase endothelium-vasodilation and improve pulse wave velocity and vascular resistance(Reference West, Krick and Klein33,Reference Miller, Sorkin and Mastella36Reference Virtanen, Wu and Voutilainen39) . Moreover, the vasoactive PG E1 and I2 that are derived from DGLA and AA, respectively, increase significantly during exercise(Reference Calder40) and have beneficial effects on nitric oxide synthesis, vascular resistance reduction, peripheral blood flow enhancement and cardiac function improvement(Reference Awan, Needham and Evenson41,Reference Wen, Watanabe and Yoshida42) . In addition, LA and AA have been shown to associate with ion channel voltage in an animal model(Reference Boland and Drzewiecki43). For example, in rats, AA can directly facilitate the activity of hyperpolarisation-activated cyclic nucleotide gated channels, which leads to increase in heart rate and cardiac output(Reference Elinder and Liin44). Heart rate can be related to blood pressure, particularly peripheral blood pressure(Reference Reule and Drawz45).

The strengths of the current study include the population-based design with a large sample size, and the use of serum n-6 PUFA measurements instead of using dietary n-6 PUFA intakes, which reduces misclassification that would attenuate the associations towards the null. Use of serum fatty acid measurements also enabled us to investigate the minor, mainly endogenously produced n-6 PUFA GLA and DGLA. Although the LA concentration is mainly determined by diet, it is also affected by genetic factors in some extent(Reference Guan, Steffen and Lemaitre46). In contrast, concentrations of GLA, DGLA and AA primarily depend on genetic and metabolic factors, including elongase and desaturase enzyme polymorphisms, availability of other nutrients and the LA:ALA ratio(Reference Saini and Keum47). Other strengths include the extensive examinations of potential confounders and assessment of VO2max, which is considered as the ‘gold standard’ for cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiac output assessment(Reference Laukkanen, Kurl and Salonen48). However, this study had some limitations that should be considered. First, the study included only middle-aged and older men from eastern Finland, so our results may not be generalisable to other populations or to women. Second, because of the nature of the cross-sectional study, we were unable to assess causality. Third, since we had a large number of statistical analyses with several exposures and outcomes, some of the observed statistically significant associations may have occurred due to chance. Finally, despite the adjustment for a large set of potential confounders, residual confounding is still possible.

In conclusion, our results suggest that the serum concentrations of total n-6 PUFA and of the major n-6 PUFA, LA, were associated with higher ECP in middle-aged and older men from eastern Finland. The association with higher ECP was mainly due to the association with higher VO2max, as there were no associations with maximal SBP during exercise. The findings with the minor n-6 PUFA, GLA, DGLA and AA were less coherent. To enhance the knowledge of the mechanisms of the n-6 PUFA on cardiac function and to confirm our findings more studies in other populations with different ethnicities, ages and sexes are required.

Acknowledgement

The present study was supported by the University of Eastern Finland. The KIHD project was mainly funded by research grants from the NIH and the Finnish Academy to Jukka T. Salonen and George A. Kaplan. The funding sources had no role in study design; in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the article for publication.

This study did not receive any specific grants from funding agencies in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors

The authors’ responsibilities were as follows: H. E., B. T., T-P. T. and J. K. V. designed the research; T-P. T., J. T. S., S. K. and J. K. V. acquired data; H. E., B. T. and J. K. V. had full access to all the data and statistically analysed the data; J. K. V. takes responsibility for integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. H. E. drafted the manuscript; B. T., T-P. T., J. T. S., S. K. and J. K. V. critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content; and all authors read and approved the final manuscript.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest

References

Joseph, P, Leong, D, McKee, M, et al. (2017) Reducing the global burden of cardiovascular disease, part 1: the epidemiology and risk factors. Circ Res 121, 677694.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kurl, S, Jae, SY, Mäkikallio, TH, et al. (2020) Exercise cardiac power and the risk of heart failure in men: a population-based follow-up study. J Sport Health Sci 11, 266271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lakka, TA, Laukkanen, JA, Rauramaa, R, et al. (2001) Cardiorespiratory fitness and the progression of carotid atherosclerosis in middle-aged men. Ann Intern Med 134, 1220.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kurl, S, Mäkikallio, T, Jae, SY, et al. (2016) Exercise cardiac power and the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular mortality in men. Ann Med 48, 625630.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kurl, S, Jae, SY, Kauhanen, J, et al. (2015) Exercise cardiac power and the risk of sudden cardiac death in a long-term prospective study. Int J Cardiol 181, 155159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kurl, S, Laukkanen, JA, Niskanen, L, et al. (2005) Cardiac power during exercise and the risk of stroke in men. Stroke 36, 820824.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Zohdi, V, Black, MJ & Pearson, JT (2011) Elevated vascular resistance and afterload reduce the cardiac output response to dobutamine in early growth-restricted rats in adulthood. Br J Nutr 106, 13741382.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kaminsky, LA, Arena, R, Ellingsen, Ø, et al. (2019) Cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiovascular disease-the past, present, and future. Prog Cardiovasc Dis 62, 8693.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kokkinos, PF, Faselis, C, Myers, J, et al. (2017) Cardiorespiratory fitness and incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events in US veterans: a cohort study. Mayo Clinic Proc 92, 3948.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Schultz, MG, la Gerche, A & Sharman, JE (2017) Blood pressure response to exercise and cardiovascular disease. Curr Hypertens Rep 19, 17.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Virtanen, JK (2018) Randomized trials of replacing saturated fatty acids with n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in coronary heart disease prevention: not the gold standard? Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acid 133, 815.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wang, DD (2018) Dietary n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular disease: epidemiologic evidence. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acid 135, 59.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Abedi, E & Sahari, MA (2014) Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid sources and evaluation of their nutritional and functional properties. Food Sci Nutr 2, 443463.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Harris, WS, Mozaffarian, D, Rimm, E, et al. (2009) n-6 fatty acids and risk for cardiovascular disease: a science advisory from the American Heart Association Nutrition Subcommittee of the Council on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism; Council on Cardiovascular Nursing; and Council on Epidemiology and Prevention. Circulation 119, 902907.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Djuricic, I & Calder, PC (2021) Beneficial outcomes of n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on human health: an update for 2021. Nutrients 13, 2421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
del Gobbo, LC, Imamura, F, Aslibekyan, S, et al. (2016) ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid biomarkers and coronary heart disease: pooling project of 19 cohort studies. JAMA Intern Med 176, 11551166.Google ScholarPubMed
Marklund, M, Wu, JHY, Imamura, F, et al. (2019) Biomarkers of dietary n-6 fatty acids and incident cardiovascular disease and mortality: an individual-level pooled analysis of 30 cohort studies. Circulation 139, 24222436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Li, J, Guasch-Ferré, M, Li, Y, et al. (2020) Dietary intake and biomarkers of linoleic acid and mortality: systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr 112, 150167.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tsukamoto, I & Sugawara, S (2018) Low levels of linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid and high levels of arachidonic acid in plasma phospholipids are associated with hypertension. Biomed Rep 8, 6976.Google ScholarPubMed
Yang, B, Ding, F, Yan, J, et al. (2016) Exploratory serum fatty acid patterns associated with blood pressure in community-dwelling middle-aged and elderly Chinese. Lipids Health Dis 15, 111.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tsou, P-L & Wu, C-J (2018) Sex-dimorphic association of plasma fatty acids with cardiovascular fitness in young and middle-aged general adults: subsamples from NHANES 2003–2004. Nutrients 10, 1558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Izumida, S, Kawano, H, Muroya, T, et al. (2019) The relationship between circulating polyunsaturated fatty acid levels and exercise responses of patients with non-ischemic heart failure. Intern Med 58, 32193225.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Salonen, JT (1988) Is there a continuing need for longitudinal epidemiologic research? The Kuopio ischaemic heart disease risk factor study. Ann Clin Res 20, 4650.Google Scholar
Lakka, TA, Venalainen, JM, Rauramaa, R, et al. (1994) Relation of leisure-time physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness to the risk of acute myocardial infarction in men. N Engl J Med 330, 15491554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Salonen, JT, Nyyssönen, K, Korpela, H, et al. (1992) High stored iron levels are associated with excess risk of myocardial infarction in eastern Finnish men. Circulation 86, 803811.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Virtanen, JK, Mursu, J, Tuomainen, T-P, et al. (2014) Dietary fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease in men: the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 34, 26792687.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Laaksonen, DE, Lakka, TA, Lakka, H, et al. (2002) Serum fatty acid composition predicts development of impaired fasting glycaemia and diabetes in middle-aged men. Diabetes Med 19, 456464.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Tajik, B, Kurl, S, Tuomainen, T-P, et al. (2016) The association of serum long-chain n-3 PUFA and hair mercury with exercise cardiac power in men. Br J Nutr 116, 487495.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Laukkanen, JA, Mäkikallio, TH, Rauramaa, R, et al. (2010) Cardiorespiratory fitness is related to the risk of sudden cardiac death: a population-based follow-up study. J Am Coll Cardiol 56, 14761483.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kjeldsen, SE, Mundal, R, Sandvik, L, et al. (2001) Supine and exercise systolic blood pressure predict cardiovascular death in middle-aged men. J Hypertens 19, 13431348.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Maki, KC, Eren, F, Cassens, ME, et al. (2018) ω-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiometabolic health: current evidence, controversies, and research gaps. Adv Nutr 9, 688700.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Zec, MM, Schutte, AE, Ricci, C, et al. (2019) Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are associated with blood pressure and hypertension over 10-years in black South African adults undergoing nutritional transition. Foods 8, 394.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
West, SG, Krick, AL, Klein, LC, et al. (2010) Effects of diets high in walnuts and flax oil on hemodynamic responses to stress and vascular endothelial function. J Am Coll Nutr 29, 595603.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sergeant, S, Rahbar, E, Chilton, FH (2016) Gamma-linolenic acid, dihommo-γ linolenic, eicosanoids and inflammatory processes. Eur J Pharmacol 785, 7786.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Naka, KK, Tweddel, AC, Parthimos, D, et al. (2003) Arterial distensibility: acute changes following dynamic exercise in normal subjects. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 284, H970H978.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Miller, M, Sorkin, JD, Mastella, L, et al. (2016) Poly is more effective than monounsaturated fat for dietary management in the metabolic syndrome: the muffin study. J Clin Lipidol 10, 9961003.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Sarabi, M, Vessby, B, Millgård, J, et al. (2001) Endothelium-dependent vasodilation is related to the fatty acid composition of serum lipids in healthy subjects. Atherosclerosis 156, 349355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fritsche, KL (2015) The science of fatty acids and inflammation. Adv Nutr 6, 293S301S.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Virtanen, JK, Wu, JHY, Voutilainen, S, et al. (2018) Serum n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and risk of death: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Am J Clin Nutr 107, 427435.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Calder, PC (2020) Eicosanoids. Essays Biochem 64, 423441.Google ScholarPubMed
Awan, NA, Needham, KE, Evenson, MK, et al. (1981) Beneficial effects of prostaglandin E1 on myocardial energetics and pump performance in severe CHF. Acta Med Scand Supplementum 652, 169172.Google ScholarPubMed
Wen, F-Q, Watanabe, K & Yoshida, M (2000) Nitric oxide enhances PGI2production by human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids (PLEFA) 62, 369378.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Boland, LM & Drzewiecki, MM (2008) Polyunsaturated fatty acid modulation of voltage-gated ion channels. Cell Biochem Biophys 52, 5984.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Elinder, F & Liin, SI (2017) Actions and mechanisms of polyunsaturated fatty acids on voltage-gated ion channels. Front Physiol 8, 43.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Reule, S & Drawz, PE (2012) Heart rate and blood pressure: any possible implications for management of hypertension? Curr Hypertens Rep 14, 478484.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Guan, W, Steffen, BT, Lemaitre, RN, et al. (2014) Genome-wide association study of plasma N6 polyunsaturated fatty acids within the cohorts for heart and aging research in genomic epidemiology consortium. Circulation: Cardiovasc Gen 7, 321331.Google ScholarPubMed
Saini, RK & Keum, Y-S (2018) n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids: dietary sources, metabolism, and significance—a review. Life Sci 203, 255267.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Laukkanen, JA, Kurl, S & Salonen, JT (2002) Cardiorespiratory fitness and physical activity as risk predictors of future atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases. Curr Atheroscler Rep 4, 468476.Google ScholarPubMed
Figure 0

Table 1. Baseline characteristics according to the quartiles of total serum n-6 PUFA concentrations*

Figure 1

Table 2. Exercise cardiac power in quartiles of serum n-6 PUFA concentrations *

Figure 2

Table 3. Maximal oxygen uptake (ml/min) in quartiles of serum n-6 PUFA concentrations*

Figure 3

Table 4. Maximal systolic blood pressure during exercise (mmHg) in quartiles of serum n-6 PUFA concentrations*