Research: ZHAO and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 184

Abstract

ZHAO and COLLEAGUES,  Department of Cardiology, Peking University People's Hospital, No. 11 Xizhimen South Street, Beijing, China systematically reviewed trials concerning the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on sudden cardiac death (SCD), cardiac death, and all-cause mortality in coronary heart disease (CHD) patients.

Background

Methodology

PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane database (1966-2007) were searched. We identified randomized controlled trials that compared dietary or supplementary intake of omega-3 fatty acids with control diet or placebo in CHD patients. Eligible studies had at least 6 months of follow-up data, and cited SCD as an end-point. Two reviewers independently assessed methodological quality. Meta-analysis of relative risk was carried out using the random effect model.

Results

Eight trials were identified, comprising 20,997 patients. In patients with prior myocardial infarction (MI), omega-3 fatty acids reduced relative risk (RR) of SCD (RR = 0.43; 95% CI: 0.20-0.91). In patients with angina, omega-3 fatty acids increased RR of SCD (RR = 1.39; 95% CI: 1.01-1.92). Overall, RR for cardiac death and all-cause mortality were 0.71 (95% CI: 0.50-1.00) and 0.77 (95% CI: 0.58-1.01), respectively.

Conclusion

Dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids reduces the incidence of sudden cardiac death in patients with MI, but may have adverse effects in angina patients.

References

Zhao YT, Chen Q, Sun YX, Li XB, Zhang P, Xu Y and Guo JH. Prevention of sudden cardiac death with omega-3 fatty acids in patients with coronary heart disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Annals of Medicine. 41(4):301-10. 2009.

Comment

This research study showed that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids significantly reduced sudden cardiac death in patients with prior myocardial infarction (MI) but appeared to have adverse effects in patients with angina.

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