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Assessment of Plasma Phospholipid Very-Long-Chain Saturated Fatty Acid Levels and Healthy Aging.

TitleAssessment of Plasma Phospholipid Very-Long-Chain Saturated Fatty Acid Levels and Healthy Aging.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsBockus, LB, Biggs, ML, Lai, HTM, Otto, MC de Olive, Fretts, AM, McKnight, B, Sotoodehnia, N, King, IB, Song, X, Siscovick, DS, Mozaffarian, D, Lemaitre, RN
JournalJAMA Netw Open
Date Published2021 Aug 02
Abstract<p><b>Importance: </b>Identifying novel factors that protect against age-related diseases and promote healthy aging is critical to public health. Higher levels of circulating very-long-chain saturated fatty acids (VLSFAs) are integrated biomarkers of diet and metabolism shown to have beneficial associations in cardiovascular disease and total mortality, but whether they are associated with overall healthy aging is unknown.</p><p><b>Objective: </b>To examine the association of circulating levels of 3 VLSFAs with unhealthy aging events, including incident chronic disease (cardiovascular disease, cancer, lung disease or severe kidney disease), physical dysfunction, and cognitive decline.</p><p><b>Design, Setting, and Participants: </b>This cohort study used 1992 to 2014 data from the Cardiovascular Health Study (CHS). The CHS is a multicenter, population-based study of cardiovascular disease among older adults. Among the 4559 CHS participants with available fatty acid data, 1879 participants who had an age-related event before their first measurement were excluded. Data analysis was performed in 2020.</p><p><b>Main Outcomes and Measures: </b>Plasma phospholipid VLSFA levels were measured by thin-layer chromatography followed by gas chromatography. The main outcome was the hazard ratio (HR) of an incident unhealthy aging event associated with serial measures of plasma arachidic acid, behenic acid, and lignoceric acid.</p><p><b>Results: </b>Among the 2680 study participants (976 men [36.4%]), the mean (SD) age was 74.7 (4.8) years old at entry. During a median (interquartile range) of 6.4 (2.9-12.9) years of follow-up, 2484 participants experienced an unhealthy event. Compared with the lowest quintile, levels of behenic acid in the highest quintile of the fatty acid distribution were associated with 15% lower risk of an unhealthy event (HR, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.74-0.97; P for trend = .01) after adjustment for demographic characteristics, lifestyle factors, and clinical conditions. In analogous comparisons, levels of lignoceric acid were similarly associated with 16% lower risk of an unhealthy event (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.73-0.95; P for trend = .001).</p><p><b>Conclusions and Relevance: </b>These findings suggest that higher levels of circulating behenic acid and lignoceric acid are associated with lower risk of unhealthy aging events. These results highlight the need to explore determinants of circulating VLSFAs for potential novel efforts to promote healthy aging.</p>
Alternate JournalJAMA Netw Open
PubMed ID34383061
ePub date: