Relation Between Dietary n-3 and n-6 Fatty Acids and Clinically Diagnosed Dry Eye Syndrome in Women

Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Oct;82(4):887-93. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/82.4.887.

Abstract

Background: Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a prevalent condition, but information on risk or protective factors is lacking.

Objective: We aimed to determine the association between the dietary intake and ratio of n-3 and n-6 fatty acids (FAs) and DES occurrence.

Design: Of the 39876 female health professionals in the Women's Health Study (WHS), 32470 women aged 45-84 y who provided information on diet and DES were cross-sectionally studied. We assessed FA intakes by using a validated food-frequency questionnaire and assessed DES by using self-reports of clinically diagnosed cases. Of the sample, 1546 (4.7%) subjects reported DES. We used logistic regression models to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CIs to describe the relation of FA intake with DES.

Results: After adjustment for demographic factors, hormone therapy, and total fat intake, the OR for the highest versus the lowest quintile of n-3 FAs was 0.83 (95% CI: 0.70, 0.98; P for trend = 0.05). A higher ratio of n-6 to n-3 FA consumption was associated with a significantly increased risk of DES (OR: 2.51; 95% CI: 1.13, 5.58) for >15:1 versus <4:1 (P for trend = 0.01). In addition, tuna consumption [1 serving was 113 g (4 oz)] was inversely associated with DES (OR: 0.81; 95% CI: 0.66, 0.99 for 2-4 servings/wk; OR: 0.32; 95% CI: 0.13, 0.79 for 5-6 servings/wk versus < or =1 serving/wk; P for trend = 0.005).

Conclusions: These results suggest that a higher dietary intake of n-3 FAs is associated with a decreased incidence of DES in women. These findings are consistent with anecdotal clinical observations and postulated biological mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / epidemiology*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / etiology
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6 / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States

Substances

  • Dietary Fats, Unsaturated
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-6