There is no association between the omega-3 index and depressive symptoms in patients with heart disease who are low fish consumers

Shaoxin Cai (Lead Author), Alison M Coates, Jonathan D Buckley, Narelle M Berry, Lisa Burres, John Beltrame, Peter R C Howe, Geoffrey Schrader

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Long chain Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn3PUFAs) may improve cardiovascular health and depression. This study investigated the relationships between erythrocyte membrane LCn3PUFA status, depression and angina symptoms in patients with heart disease. 
Methods: We recruited 91 patients (65 males and 26 females, mean age 59.2 ± 10.3 years) with heart disease and depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, CES-D ≥ 16) and low fish/fish oil intakes. The Omega-3 Index (EPA+DHA) of erythrocyte membranes (as a percentage of total fatty acids) was assessed by gas chromatography. Depression status was measured by both self-report and clinician-report scales; CES-D and the Hamilton depression scale (HAM-D). Angina symptoms were measured using the Seattle Angina Questionnaire and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society Classification for Angina Pectoris. 
Results: The mean Omega-3 Index was 4.8 ± 1.0% (±SD). Depression scores measured by CES-D and HAM-D were 29.2 ± 8.8 (moderate to severe) and 11.0 ± 5.7 (mild) (arbitrary units) respectively reflecting a different perception of depressive symptoms between patients and clinicians. Angina status was inversely associated with depression scores (r > -0.26, P < 0.03). There were no significant relationships between individual LCn3PUFA or the Omega-3 Index and either the depression scores or the angina symptoms. 
Conclusion: Worse angina status was associated with worse depression, but the Omega-3 Index was not associated with symptoms of depression or angina in patients with heart disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-284
Number of pages9
JournalHeart, Lung and Circulation
Issue number3
Early online date16 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Omega-3 Index
  • Depression
  • Heart disease

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