(HealthDay News) — Supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is associated with a reduced risk for myocardial infarction (MI) and coronary heart disease (CHD) events, according to a meta-analysis published online Sept. 17 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Aldo A. Bernasconi, Ph.D., from the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s in Salt Lake City, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis and meta-regression of randomized controlled trials with EPA/DHA supplementation to quantify their effect on cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention. Data were included for 40 studies with 135,267 participants.

The researchers found that supplementation was associated with a reduced risk for MI, CHD events, fatal MI, and CHD mortality (relative risks [95 percent confidence intervals], 0.87 [0.80 to 0.96], 0.90 [0.84 to 0.97], 0.65 [0.46 to 0.91], and 0.91 [0.85 to 0.98], respectively; high certainty number needed to treat: 272, 192, 128, and 431, respectively) but not with CVD events (relative risk, 0.95; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.90 to 1.00). For CVD events and MI, the effect was dose-dependent.

“The current study presents strong evidence that EPA+DHA supplementation is an effective strategy for the prevention of certain CVD outcomes, and that for CVD events and MI, the protective effect appears to increase with dosage,” the authors write. “Authoritative bodies issuing intake recommendations and health care providers need to consider taking these results into account.”

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