Does Omega-3 FA Supplementation Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk?

No significant association with fatal, nonfatal coronary heart disease, major vascular events
No significant association with fatal, nonfatal coronary heart disease, major vascular events

HealthDay News — Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids is not associated with fatal or nonfatal coronary heart disease or major vascular events, according to a review published online January 31 in JAMA Cardiology.

Theingi Aung, MBBS, from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of all large trials assessing the correlation of omega-3 fatty acid supplements with the risk of fatal and nonfatal coronary heart disease and major vascular events. Study-level data were obtained from 10 large randomized clinical trials with a total of 77,917 high-risk individuals; the trials lasted a mean of 4.4 years. 

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The researchers found that there was no correlation for randomization to omega-3 fatty acid supplementation with coronary heart disease death (rate ratio, 0.93; 99% confidence interval, 0.83 to 1.03; P=0.05), nonfatal myocardial infarction (rate ratio, 0.97; 99% confidence interval, 0.87 to 1.08; P=0.43), or any coronary heart disease events (rate ratio, 0.96; 95% confidence interval, 0.9 to 1.01; P=0.12). Randomization to omega-3 fatty acid supplementation also had no significant associations with major vascular events (rate ratio, 0.97; 95% confidence interval, 0.93 to 1.1; P=0.1) overall or in any subgroups.

This meta-analysis "provides no support for current recommendations for the use of such supplements in people with a history of coronary heart disease," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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