Relationship Between Serum Eicosapentaenoic Acid Levels and J-Waves in a General Population in Japan

Int Heart J. 2018 Jul 31;59(4):736-740. doi: 10.1536/ihj.17-434. Epub 2018 Jun 6.


We previously showed that J-waves were found more frequently in patients with low levels of serum eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) in the acute phase of myocardial infarction, and were associated with the incidence of ischemia-related ventricular arrhythmias. However, the relationship between J-waves and serum EPA levels in a general population remains to be elucidated.The Iwaki Health Promotion Project is an ongoing community-based health promotion study in Iwaki, Hirosaki, which is in northern Japan. A total of 1,052 residents (mean age, 53.9 ± 15.4 years; 390 men) who participated in this project in 2014 were studied. A standard 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) was recorded and serum EPA levels were measured to evaluate the relationship between J-waves and serum EPA levels. J-waves were found in 52 (5%) subjects and were observed more frequently in male than female subjects (44 [11%] versus 8 [1%], P < 0.0001). More than half of the J-waves were the notched type (60%), and J-waves were detected most frequently in inferior leads on ECG (52%). The RR interval was longer and QTc duration shorter in subjects with J-waves than those without. No significant difference was found in serum EPA levels between subjects with and without J-waves (70 [49-116] versus 65 [41-106] μg/mL, P = 0.40). In multivariate analysis, male gender and RR interval were independent factors associated with the presence of J-waves.There was no significant relationship between J-waves and serum EPA levels in this general population in Japan. Various mechanisms for manifestation of the J-waves are suggested.

Keywords: Early repolarization; n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / blood
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction* / blood
  • Myocardial Infarction* / complications
  • Myocardial Infarction* / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction* / physiopathology
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / etiology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / physiopathology


  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid