Atherosclerosis and Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Alaskan Natives

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00005236
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 26, 2000
Last Update Posted : February 18, 2016
Information provided by:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Brief Summary:
To determine whether there were differences in the prevalence and extent of atherosclerotic lesions in the coronaries and aortas between Alaskan natives and non-natives, and whether the extent of the lesions was related to omega-3 fatty acids in blood and tissues.

Condition or disease
Cardiovascular Diseases Heart Diseases Atherosclerosis Coronary Arteriosclerosis

Detailed Description:


Purported low mortality from coronary heart disease in Eskimos from Greenland, Canada, or Alaska has been interpreted by many investigators as synonymous with the absence of or reduced amount of atherosclerotic lesions in the coronary arteries compared to populations with a high rate of coronary heart disease. It was thought that this study would help to clarify the role of omega-3 fatty acids in atherosclerosis but also would help in making a decision whether to recommend to the general public the inclusion of fish oils, which contain large amounts of these fatty acids in the diet, for prevention and/or reduction of atherosclerotic heart disease.


Coronary arteries, aortas, blood, adipose tissue, and liver were collected at autopsy from deceased Alaskan natives, aged 5 years and above, dying of all causes and from a similar number of age- and sex-matched non-native Alaskans. Tested standardized methods of gross evaluation, histomorphometry, and chemistry were used to characterize, measure, and evaluate the prevalence and extent of atherosclerosis in arteries. Chemical methods for determination of blood and tissue lipids and gas liquid chromatographic methods for determination of fatty acids in various lipid fractions in plasma and tissues were used. Risk factors for coronary artery disease were evaluated from tissues taken at autopsy. Hypertension was evaluated by an examination of kidney arterioles. Cigarette smoking was evaluated by measurement of thiocyanate in the blood and the presence or absence of diabetes was evaluated by measuring glycosylation of hemoglobin from red blood cells. Findings were compared with those studied in other populations such as Blacks and whites in New Orleans, and Japanese, Norwegians and nineteen other ethnic groups in the International Atherosclerosis Project.

The study completion date listed in this record was obtained from the "End Date" entered in the Protocol Registration and Results System (PRS) record.

Study Type : Observational
Study Start Date : December 1988
Actual Study Completion Date : November 1994

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Atherosclerosis

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 100 Years   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   Male
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
No eligibility criteria

Publications: Identifier: NCT00005236     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1117
R01HL042082 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: May 26, 2000    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 18, 2016
Last Verified: April 2000

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Cardiovascular Diseases
Heart Diseases
Coronary Artery Disease
Myocardial Ischemia
Arterial Occlusive Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Coronary Disease