Heart and Vessels

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 189–196 | Cite as

A longitudinal study of the association of the eicosapentaenoic acid/arachidonic acid ratio derived from fish consumption with the serum lipid levels: a pilot study

  • Shigemasa TaniEmail author
  • Rei Matsuo
  • Naoya Matsumoto
Short Communication


It has been demonstrated that regular fish consumption is associated with a reduced mortality from atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). However, data are scarce regarding the correlation between the changes in the serum eicosapentaenoic acid/arachidonic acid (EPA/AA) ratio associated with regular fish consumption and the changes in the serum lipid profile variables. This study was designed as a hospital-based longitudinal study to investigate the relationship between the changes in the serum EPA/AA ratio and changes of the serum lipid levels in patients with one or more risk factors for ASCVD. In 475 patients followed-up for at least 1 year, univariable and multivariable regression analyses conducted after adjustments for the risk factors of ASCVD revealed that the absolute change of the EPA/AA ratio (∆EPA/AA ratio) was independently and significantly associated with the changes of the serum levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (β = − 0.129, p = 0.005), triglyceride (TG) (β = − 0.108, p = 0.019), non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) (β = − 0.149, p = 0.001), and TG/HDL-C ratio, a marker of the LDL particle size (β = − 0.104, p = 0.02), while not being correlated with any other lipid parameters. On the other hand, while the ∆ docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)/AA ratio was inversely correlated with the changes of the serum HDL-C level and positively correlated with the changes of the TG/HDL-C ratio, possibly serving to promote development of atherosclerosis. The results suggest that an increase of the EPA/AA ratio might be associated with decrease of the serum levels of LDL-C, TG and non-HDL-C levels, as well as with an increase of the TG/HDL-C ratio, which represents increased LDL particle size, all of which play a role in the development of ASCVD. A high EPA/AA ratio, but not DHA/AA ratio, derived from fish consumption might reduce the risk of ASCVD through reducing the risk of development of atherosclerosis.

Clinical Trial Registration Information: UMIN (, Study ID: UMIN000010603.


Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) Arachidonic acid Eicosapentaenoic acid Coronary artery disease (CAD) EPA/AA ratio n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) 



This work was supported by KAKENHI Grant Number 16K09045 of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The authors would like to thank International Medical Information Center ( for the English language review. The authors would also like to thank Mr. Gary Cooper for his help in editing the English manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Health Planning CenterNihon University HospitalTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of CardiologyNihon University HospitalTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Division of Cardiology, Department of MedicineNihon University School of MedicineTokyoJapan

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