ORLANDO, Fla., June 29 (UPI) -- Women with type 1 diabetes do not appear to have heart disease risk reduced by eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids but men do, U.S. researchers said.
Lead author Tina Costacou of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health said the study involved 601 men and women enrolled in a long-term prospective examination of childhood onset type 1 diabetes that began in 1986. Study participants were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes from 1950 to 1980.
Omega-3 fatty acids increase heart health by preventing the buildup of cholesterol in the arteries.
During the course of the study, 28 percent were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.
The incidence of heart disease was lowest in men who consumed the highest quantities of omega-3 -- more than 0.2 grams per day -- but women who consumed similar amounts did not have lower rates of heart disease.
"Although omega-3 is typically associated with decreased risk for cardiovascular disease, this may not be the case for women who have type 1 diabetes," Costacou said in a statement. "Importantly, our study suggests we shouldn't assume men and women with type 1 diabetes are the same."
The findings were presented at the 70th scientific sessions of the American Diabetes Association.