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Fish consumption, omega-3 fatty acid intake, and risk of pain: the Seniors-ENRICA-1 cohort

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (anti-nociceptive) actions. However, the relation of habitual omega-3 fatty acid intake and fish consumption — its main food source — with pain remains largely unknown. We examined the association of fish consumption and marine omega-3 fatty acid intake with pain incidence and worsening over 5 years among older adults.

06, Oct 2022

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (anti-nociceptive) actions. However, the relation of habitual omega-3 fatty acid intake and fish consumption — its main food source — with pain remains largely unknown. We examined the association of fish consumption and marine omega-3 fatty acid intake with pain incidence and worsening over 5 years among older adults.

METHODS: Data were taken from the Seniors-ENRICA-1 cohort, which included 950 individuals aged ≥60 years in Spain. Habitual fish consumption and marine omega-3 fatty acid intake during the previous year were assessed in 2008–2010 and 2012 with a validated diet history. Pain was assessed in 2012 and 2017 with a scale developed from the Survey on Chronic Pain in Europe, ranging from 0 (no pain) to 6 (highest pain), according to its severity, frequency, and number of locations. Analyses on pain incidence were conducted in the 524 participants free of pain at baseline, while those on pain worsening were performed in the overall cohort, and both were adjusted for sociodemographic variables, lifestyle, morbidity, and diet quality. RESULTS:Higher oily fish consumption was associated with reduced pain incidence and worsening over 5 years [fully adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) = 0.68 (0.50,0.94) and 0.70 (0.55,0.88) for every 25 g/day increment (1.5 servings/week), respectively]. Total and white fish consumption were not associated with pain. Higher marine omega-3 fatty acid intake was inversely associated with pain worsening [odds ratio (95% confidence interval) per 0.5 g/day increment = 0.83 (0.72,0.96)]. The corresponding associations for eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were 0.53 (0.33,0.87) and 0.73 (0.57,0.94).

CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort of Spanish older adults, increased oily fish consumption was inversely associated with pain incidence and worsening over 5 years, while higher marine omega-3 fatty acid intake (and that of EPA and DHA) was linked to less pain worsening.

Carballo-Casla A, García-Esquinas E, Banegas JR, Rodríguez-Artalejo F, Ortolá R. - Clinical Nutrition, 2022

Fonte: NFI - Nutrition Foundation of Italy


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