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Tittus, Janine, Huber, Marie Theres, Storck, Klaus, Köhler, Anton, Köhler, Jan M., Arnim, Thomas von and Schacky, Clemens von (2017): Omega-3 Index and Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Cross-Sectional Study. In: Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, Vol. 13, No. 10: pp. 1131-1136

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Study Objectives: Erythrocyte levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (Omega-3 Index) were previously found to be associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) at very low levels (< 5.0%) in only one epidemiologic study. OSA has comorbidities, such as arterial hypertension, heart failure, or major depression, also associated with a low Omega-3 Index. These comorbidities can be improved by increasing intake of EPA and DHA, and thus the Omega-3 Index, preferably to its target range of 8% to 11%. Symptoms of OSA might improve by increasing the Omega-3 Index, but more research is needed. Methods: In our sleep laboratory, 357 participants with OSA were recruited, and data from 315 participants were evaluated. Three categories of OSA (none/ mild, moderate, severe) were defined based on apnea-hypopnea index. Anthropometrics and lifestyle characteristics (smoking, alcohol, fish intake, omega-3 supplementation) were recorded. Erythrocyte fatty acid compositions were assessed with the HS-Omega-3 Index methodology. Results: The mean Omega-3 Index in all 3 categories of OSA was 5.7%, and no association with OSA was found. There were more male participants with severe OSA (79.7%, P =.042) than females, and participants with severe OSA had a significantly higher body mass index (32.11 +/- 6.39 kg/m(2), P =.009) than participants with mild or moderate OSA. Lifestyle characteristics were not significantly different. Conclusions: In contrast to our hypothesis, an Omega-3 Index of 5.7% was not associated with OSA severity. Previously, an Omega-3 Index < 5.0% was associated. Although our results suggest aiming for an Omega-3 Index > 5.7% in an intervention trial with EPA and DHA in OSA, comorbidities of OSA suggest a target range of 8% to 11%.

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