Research: VON SCHACKY,

Listed in Issue 150


VON SCHACKY, Preventive Cardiology, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik Innenstadt, Ludwig Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, Munich, Germany,, has reviewed (55 references) n-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease.

Abstract: In the last 2 years in the cardiovascular field, the n-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have been investigated in terms of their epidemiology and vascular biology, and in large-scale intervention trials, and incorporated into the guidelines of cardiac societies. EPA and DHA have advanced from scientific research into everyday practice. EPA and DHA counteract arrhythmia on supraventricular and ventricular levels, besides having an anti-atherosclerotic effect. Fish rich in EPA and DHA but contaminated with methyl-mercury appears to be less protective. Large-scale clinical trials demonstrated that morbidity can be reduced with EPA even in a population already consuming large amounts of EPA and DHA. Therapy with EPA and DHA can be monitored with the omega-3 index, a risk factor for sudden cardiac death. EPA and DHA appear to be cost-saving in the USA, and, as Omacor, are cost-effective in several European countries. Physicians need to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease by advocating EPA and DHA to all patients likely to benefit.






von Schacky C. Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care 10 (2): 129-135, Mar 2007.

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