SATURDAY, June 26 (HealthDay News) -- Boosting consumption of omega-3 fatty acids doesn't seem to lower the risk of heart disease in women with type 1 diabetes, according to a new study.
Omega-3 fatty acids, found primarily in fish, help prevent the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries, but little is known about whether omega-3 helps protect people with type 1 diabetes, who are at increased risk for heart disease.
University of Pittsburgh researchers analyzed data from 601 men and women enrolled in a long-term prospective study of type 1 diabetes patients that began in 1986. The participants were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes between 1950 and 1980.
During the study, 166 participants (27.6 percent) were diagnosed with heart disease. The investigators found the lowest incidence of heart disease among men who consumed the highest amounts of omega-3 (more than 0.2 grams per day). However, lower rates of heart disease were not found among women who consumed similar amounts of omega-3.
The findings are slated to be presented Saturday at the American Diabetes Association's Scientific Sessions, held in Orlando.
"Although omega-3 is typically associated with decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, this may not be the case for women who have type 1 diabetes. Importantly, our study suggests we shouldn't assume men and women with type 1 diabetes are the same," lead author Tina Costacou, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, said in a university news release.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about diabetes.
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