Objective: To examine whether habitual dietary intake of marine-origin n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (MOPUFA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are associated with functional mobility in the community-dwelling oldest old, 85 years or older, who are at high risk for physical disability. Design: A cross-sectional study. Setting: A community-based survey conducted at university research center or home-based. Participants: Four hundred seventeen (189 men, 228 women) out of 542 participants in the baseline examination of the Tokyo Oldest Old Survey on Total Health, a community-based ongoing longitudinal study among the oldest old living in the center of Japan. Measurements: Habitual dietary intake of MOPUFA was assessed by the brief-type self-administered diet history questionnaire (BDHQ), and functional mobility was assessed by the Timed Up and Go test. Plasma inflammatory biomarkers (C-reactive protein, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-a) were measured. We evaluated the cross-sectional association between habitual intake of MOPUFA and functional mobility using multivariate logistic regression analysis - Prior to the analysis, validation of BDHQ in this study was confirmed among 190 participants (96 men, 94 women) based on the EPA and DHA concentrations in the erythrocyte membrane phospholipids as reference. Results: Moderate correlation between estimated dietary intake of EPA/DHA and concentration of EPA/DHA in the erythrocyte membrane phospholipids was obtained (Spearman's r=0.29-0.58, p<0.01). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that a lower habitual intake of EPA+DHA was significantly associated with poor functional mobility in men but not in women (OR (95%CI) per 1 SD increase of EPA+DHA intake; 0.55 (0.33-0.91), 0.88 (0.59-1.32), men and women respectively). Conclusions: Habitual intake of MOPUFA was associated with functional mobility in community-dwelling oldest old men.
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