Abstract 2423: Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake is Lower in Heart Failure Patients with Anxiety and Depressive Symptoms
Background: Anxiety and depressive symptoms are prevalent among heart failure (HF) patients. A number of studies have demonstrated that lower intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with depressive symptoms, possibly due to alterations in omega-3 fatty acid-dependent neural structure and function. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential components of central nervous system cell membranes and inhibit proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α, which are associated with depressive symptoms. It is unknown if omega-3 fatty acid intake in HF patients with anxiety and depressive symptoms is lower than in patients without symptoms.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if omega-3 fatty acid intake is lower in HF patients with anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Method: A total of 134 patients (age 60 ± 12 y, 37% female, 60% NYHA class III/IV, ejection fraction 33% ± 14) completed anxiety and depression subscales of the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and provided detailed 4-day food diaries that were verified by a registered dietitian. Nutrition Data System software was used to determine dietary omega-3 fatty acid content. Patients were divided into groups based on established norms of anxiety (BSI score≥.35) and depressive symptoms (BSI score≥.28). Comparisons were made using independent samples t-test.
Results: Patients with anxiety and depressive symptoms were on average eight years younger than those without symptoms. There were no other differences in clinical characteristics between groups. Omega-3 fatty acid intake was significantly lower in patients with anxiety (1.36±.62 vs. 1.59±.82 g) and depressive symptoms (1.38±.66 verses 1.63±.82 g) compared to patients without symptoms.
Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate that dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids is lower in HF patients with anxiety and depressive symptoms. Interventions to increase omega-3 fatty acid intake may be one way to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression in these patients.