Table 2.

Percentage fatty acid compositions in erythrocyte membranes in case and control subjects

Fatty acids and the indicesCase subjects (n = 179), mean (SD)Control subjects (n = 357), mean (SD)P value for t test
SFAs55.1 (2.9)54.0 (3.0)0.0001
    Palmitic acid32.9 (2.4)31.7 (2.3)<0.0001
MUFAs19.2 (1.6)19.0 (2.1)NS
PUFAs25.8 (3.6)27.1 (3.7)0.0001
    n-6 PUFAs19.3 (2.7)19.7 (2.1)<0.05
        Arachidonic acid8.4 (1.7)8.7 (1.6)NS
    n-3 PUFAs6.5 (2.2)7.3 (2.4)<0.0001
    n-3 HUFAs6.2 (2.2)7.0 (2.3)<0.0005
        EPA1.2 (0.6)1.3 (0.6)<0.05
        Docosapentaenoic acid0.9 (0.4)1.1 (0.4)<0.0001
        DHA4.1 (1.4)4.6 (1.5)0.0001
SFAs/PUFAs2.20 (0.44)2.05 (0.39)<0.0001
    SFAs/n-3 HUFAs10.69 (6.45)8.90 (3.80)<0.001
n-6 PUFAs/n-3 PUFAs3.42 (1.64)2.99 (1.01)<0.005
    n-6 PUFAs/n-3 HUFAs3.62 (1.77)3.17 (1.14)<0.005
    Arachidonic acid/DHA2.31 (0.88)2.06 (0.67)<0.001
Saturation index n-735.20 (8.20)29.23 (10.73)<0.0001
Saturation index n-91.18 (0.15)1.21 (0.15)<0.05
  • NOTE: SFAs were summed up as myristic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid. MUFAs were summed up as palmitoleic acid and oleic acid. PUFAs were summed up as the following: n-6 PUFAs and n-3 PUFAs. n-6 PUFAs were summed up as linoleic acid, γ-linolenic acid, dihomo-γ-linolenic acid, and arachidonic acid. n-3 PUFAs were summed up as α-linolenic acid and n-3 HUFAs. n-3 HUFAs were summed up as EPA, docosapentaenoic acid, and DHA. Saturation indices n-7 and n-9 were meant as the ratios of palmitic acid/palmitoleic acid and stearic acid/oleic acid, respectively.

    Abbreviation: NS, not significant.