Background: Marine n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) may have beneficial effects on bone. Dietary intake of marine n-3 PUFA, found mainly in fish and seafood, has previously been found positively associated with bone density in otherwise healthy subjects. Renal transplant recipients (RTR) suffer high rates of bone loss and increased risk of fractures. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between plasma marine n-3 PUFA-levels and bone mineral density (BMD) in a large cohort of RTR.
Methods: A total of 701 RTR were included in this cross-sectional analysis. BMD of lumbar spine, proximal femur and distal forearm were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)-scan, and blood samples were drawn in the fasting state 10 weeks post-transplant. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to assess the association between n-3 PUFA and BMD.
Results: Median age was 53.9 years and two thirds were men. Based on femoral neck T-scores, 25% of patients were osteoporotic, and 50% osteopenic. Significant positive associations were observed between plasma marine n-3 PUFA and BMD at total hip (β=0.0041, p=0.02) and lumbar spine (β=0.0058, p=0.02) after multivariate adjustment. No association was found between n-3 PUFA and BMD of the distal forearm, while at the femoral neck the association was only significant in age and gender adjusted analysis.
Conclusion: We found positive associations between plasma marine n-3 PUFA-levels and BMD at the total hip and lumbar spine 10 weeks post-transplant. Marine n-3 PUFA may represent a potential to improve bone disease after renal transplantation.
Disclosure: The authors declared no competing interests. This work was supported by grants from: Graduate School of Health, Aarhus University, South-Eastern Norway Regional Health Authority, Gidske and Peter Jacob Sørensen Research Fund (R.F), The Norwegian National Kidney Association R.F., Nathalia and Knut Juul Christensen R.F, Signe and Albert Bergsmarken R.F and Gertrude and Jack Nelsons R.F.