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BACKGROUND: Observational studies suggest a link between n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake, n-3 PUFA status, and depression in adults, but studies in adolescents are scarce. This study aimed to determine associations of n-3 PUFA status and intake with paediatric major depressive disorder (pMDD) in Swiss adolescents. METHODS: We conducted a matched case-control study in 95 adolescents diagnosed with pMDD and 95 healthy controls aged 13 to <18 years. We analysed red blood cell (RBC) fatty acid (FA) composition (% of total FA). n-3 PUFA intake was assessed using a focused food frequency questionnaire and depression severity was assessed by the Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R). RESULTS: Mean RBC eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were lower in cases than controls (EPA: 0.41 ± 0.11 vs 0.46 ± 0.12, p 

Original publication




Journal article


J Affect Disord

Publication Date





355 - 365


Adolescents, Case-control study, Paediatric major depression, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids