Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)


Clinical Nutrition

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

W. Andrew Clark

Committee Members

Michelle Lee, Eileen Cress


Red blood cells (RBC) have been shown to mediate plaque development seen in coronary artery disease (CAD). This study determined whether differences in RBC fatty acid (FA) composition were related to CAD risk. FAs were extracted from RBCs of 38 individuals who have undergone cardiac catheterization, 9 of whom had obstructive CAD, and analyzed via gas chromatography. Ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) assay was used to determine oxidative stress. Food frequency questionnaires were used to correlate RBC omega-3 FA to daily intake of omega-3 FA. No correlation was found between RBC content and intake of omega-3 FA. FRAP values and RBC FA composition did not differ between the 2 groups with exception of the saturated FA, palmitic acid (p=0.018). These results suggest that RBC FA composition may differ between individuals with or at risk for CAD. Additional research is needed to validate this biomarker as a predictor of CAD.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.