Dietary intake of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and diabetic nephropathy – cohort analysis of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT)

  1. Amanda I Adler, MD PhD (amanda.adler{at},3
  1. From the 1MRC Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge, UK
  2. 2Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Wolfson Diabetes and Endocrine Clinic, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge, UK


Objective: To investigate the association between dietary n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFAs) and the degree and development of albuminuria in type 1 diabetes.

Methods: We analyzed longitudinal data from 1,436 participants in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial. We defined average intake of eicosapentaenoic- and docosahexaenoic acid from diet histories. Urinary albumin excretion rates (UAER) were measured over 24 hours; incident albuminuria was considered the first occurrence of an UAER >40 mg/24 hr sustained for ≥1 year in normo-albuminuric individuals.

Results: In a mean follow-up of 6.5 years, we observed a lower mean UAER [difference 22.7 mg/24 hr (95% CI 1.6, 43.8)] in the top vs. bottom third of dietary n-3 LC-PUFAs, but found no association with incident albuminuria.

Conclusions: Dietary n-3 LC-PUFAs appear inversely associated with the degree, but not with the incidence of albuminuria in type 1 diabetes. These findings require further investigation in prospective studies.


    • Received December 9, 2009.
    • Accepted March 24, 2010.

This Article

  1. Diabetes Care
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    1. dc09-2245v1
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