Background: The association between long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) and prostate cancer (PC) remains unclear.
Methods: We compared incident PC rates as a function of the Omega-3 Index [O3I, erythrocyte eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (EPA + DHA)] in 5607 men (40-80 years of age) seen at the Cooper Clinic who were free of PC at baseline. The average follow-up was 5.1 ± 2.8 years until censoring or reporting a new PC diagnosis. Proportional hazards regression was used to model the linear association between baseline O3I and the age-adjusted time to diagnosis. A meta-analysis of n-3 PUFA biomarker-based studies and incident PC was updated with the present findings.
Results: A total of 116 cases of incident PC were identified. When O3I was examined as a continuous variable, the age-adjusted hazard ratio (HR) (95% CI) was 0.98 (0.89, 1.07; p = 0.25) for each 1% increment in the O3I. The updated meta-analysis with 10 biomarker-based studies found no significant relationship between EPA or DHA levels and risk for PC.
Conclusions: We find no evidence in this study nor in a meta-analysis of similar studies that consuming n-3 PUFA-rich fish or using fish oil supplements affects the risk of PC.
Keywords: biomarker; docosahexaenoic acid; eicosapentaenoic acid; epidemiology; omega-3 fatty acids; prospective cohort; prostate cancer.