Research: SMITH and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 178

Abstract

SMITH and COLLEAGUES,  Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA studied the association between omega-3 fatty acid consumption and ventricular arrhythmias in acute post-myocardial infarction (AMI) patients.

Background

n-3 (omega-3) Fatty acids are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; however, the relation between dietary intake of n-3 fatty acids and ventricular arrhythmias has not been investigated among acute post-myocardial infarction (AMI) patients-a group at elevated risk of malignant arrhythmias.

Methodology

The objective was to examine the association between n-3 fatty acid consumption and ventricular ectopy among AMI patients. In 260 AMI patients, dietary intake of n-3 fatty acids was assessed by using the Harvard food-frequency questionnaire, and ventricular ectopy was estimated from 24-h electrocardiograph recordings.

Results

A greater intake of n-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid + docosapentaenoic acid + alpha-linolenic acid) was associated with lower ventricular ectopy (beta = -0.35, P = 0.011), and this effect remained after cardiovascular comorbidities were controlled for (beta = -0.47, P = 0.003). Higher concentrations of both marine-based (eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid) (beta = -0.21, P = 0.060) and plant-based (alpha-linolenic acid) (beta = -0.33, P = 0.024) fatty acids remained associated with lower ventricular ectopy after cardiovascular comorbidities were controlled for.

Conclusion

These findings extend existing evidence linking n-3 fatty acid consumption to a reduced risk of ventricular arrhythmias by showing that a greater intake of n-3 fatty acids may be associated with low ventricular ectopy among AMI patients.

References

Smith PJ, Blumenthal JA, Babyak MA, Georgiades A, Sherwood A, Sketch MH Jr and Watkins LL. Association between n-3 fatty acid consumption and ventricular ectopy after myocardial infarction. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  89(5):1315-20. May 2009. NLM. PMC2676996 [Available on 05/01/10].

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