(HealthDay News) – For patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors or atherosclerotic vascular disease who have not had a myocardial infarction, daily treatment with n-3 fatty acids does not reduce cardiovascular mortality or morbidity, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Maria Carla Roncaglioni, PhD, from the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri in Milan, and colleagues conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 12,513 patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors or atherosclerotic vascular disease, but without myocardial infarction. Participants were randomized to receive 1g daily n-3 fatty acids (6,244 participants) or placebo (olive oil; 6,269 participants).
With a median of five years of follow-up, the researchers found that the primary end point (cumulative rate of death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, and nonfatal stroke) occurred in 11.8% of the cohort, 11.7% of whom had received n-3 fatty acids and 11.9% of whom had received placebo. Similar results were seen for all secondary end points.
“On the basis of the results, we conclude that there was no significant benefit of n-3 fatty acids in reducing the risk of death from cardiovascular causes or hospital admission for cardiovascular causes,” the authors write.
The study was partially funded by Pfizer and Sigma Tau.