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Validity of food frequency questionnaire-based estimates of long-term long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid intake
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2014 (English)In: European Journal of Nutrition, ISSN 1436-6207, E-ISSN 1436-6215, Vol. 53, no 2, 549-555 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


To evaluate how long-term dietary intake of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn-3 PUFAs), estimated by repeated food frequency questionnaires (FFQs) over 15 years, is correlated with LCn-3 PUFAs in adipose tissue (AT).


Subcutaneous adipose tissue was obtained in 2003-2004 (AT-03) from 239 randomly selected women, aged 55-75 years, after completion of a 96-item FFQ (FFQ-03). All participants had previously returned an identical FFQ in 1997 (FFQ-97) and a 67-item version in 1987-1990 (FFQ-87). Pearson product-moment correlations were used to evaluate associations between intake of total and individual LCn-3 PUFAs as estimated by the three FFQ assessments and AT-03 content (% of total fatty acids).


FFQ-estimated mean relative intake of LCn-3 PUFAs (% of total fat intake) increased between all three assessments (FFQ-87, 0.55 ± 0.34; FFQ-97, 0.74 ± 0.64; FFQ-03, 0.88 ± 0.56). Validity, in terms of Pearson correlations between FFQ-03 estimates and AT-03 content, was 0.41 (95 % CI 0.30-0.51) for total LCn-3 PUFA and ranged from 0.29 to 0.48 for individual fatty acids; lower correlation was observed among participants with higher percentage body fat. With regard to long-term intake estimates, past dietary intake was also correlated with AT-03 content, with correlation coefficients in the range of 0.21-0.33 and 0.21-0.34 for FFQ-97 and FFQ-87, respectively. The correlations were improved by using average estimates from two or more FFQ assessments. Exclusion of fish oil supplement users (14 %) did not alter the correlations.


These data indicate reasonable validity of FFQ-based estimates of long-term (up to 15 years) LCn-3 PUFA intake, justifying their use in studies of diet-disease associations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 53, no 2, 549-555 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-210447DOI: 10.1007/s00394-013-0563-1ISI: 000331710600022PubMedID: 23887855OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-210447DiVA: diva2:662749
Available from: 2013-11-08 Created: 2013-11-08 Last updated: 2014-04-14Bibliographically approved

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Cederholm, TommyMichaëlsson, Karl
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