Background and aims: Fatty acids (FAs) and their metabolizing enzymes have been associated with several cardiometabolic outcomes. Whether they correlate with cardiovascular risk in type 1 diabetes (T1D), it is unknown. We investigated whether erythrocyte FAs correlated with cardiovascular risk factors and dietary fats in youth with T1D.Methods and results: We recruited 154 adolescents with T1D (aged 17.3 +/- 2 years, 82 boys) and assessed blood pressure, plasma lipids, HbA1c, estimated insulin sensitivity (eIS) and dietary fats based on a 3-days weighed dietary record. Erythrocyte FAs were measured by gas chromatography and desaturase and elongase activities were estimated as product/precursor ratios. Delta-6-desaturase (D6D) activity correlated inversely with eIS (r = -0.32,p = 6.6*10(-5)) and directly with triglycerides (r = 0.24, p = 0.003), adjusted for z-BMI, age and gender. No single erythrocyte FA correlated with eIS. Erythrocyte membrane stearic acid (SA) correlated with HbA1c adjusted for confounders and eIS ( r = -0.26, p = 0.002). We found some weak (r <= 0.20) correlations between erythrocyte membrane FAs and dietary fats, which were not retained by correction for multiple testing.Conclusion: In youth with T1D, D6D activity might exert unfavorable effects per se, beyond its role on FAs composition. This is in accordance with previous data associating D6D activity/D6Denhancing polymorphisms with metabolic syndrome and incident type 2 diabetes, as well as D6D activity with the regulation of cellular red-ox balance. SA was a favorable marker of glycemic control. Future research is needed to clarify the biological pathways linking D6D and SA with the cardiometabolic health of youth with T1D. (C) 2020 The Italian Diabetes Society, the Italian Society for the Study of Atherosclerosis, the Italian Society of Human Nutrition and the Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Federico II University. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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