Review: Omega-3s Do Not Reduce Risk of Cardio Events

Meta-analysis of 20 studies shows no correlation with mortality, cardiac mortality, MI, stroke

TUESDAY, Sept. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is not associated with a statistically significant reduction in major cardiovascular end points, according to research published in the Sept. 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Evangelos C. Rizos, M.D., Ph.D., from the University Hospital of Ioannina in Greece, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials that assessed the effect of omega-3 on all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, myocardial infarction, and stroke.

Twenty studies involving 68,680 patients were included in the analysis, which reported 7,044 deaths; 3,993 cardiac deaths; 1,150 sudden deaths; 1,837 myocardial infarctions; and 1,490 strokes. The researchers found that when all supplement studies were considered there was no statistically significant association for any of the outcomes.

"In conclusion, omega-3 PUFAs are not statistically significantly associated with major cardiovascular outcomes across various patient populations," the authors write. "Our findings do not justify the use of omega-3 as a structured intervention in everyday clinical practice or guidelines supporting dietary omega-3 PUFA administration."

One author disclosed financial ties to industry but no ties to companies that manufacture or market omega-3 supplements.

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