Fatty Acids Don't Reduce Atrial Fibrillation Recurrence

No significant difference from placebo for other outcomes, including stroke, MI, heart failure

THURSDAY, Dec. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) do not reduce the recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF), according to a study published online Dec. 19 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Alejandro Macchia, M.D., from Grupo de Estudio de Investigacion Clinica en Argentina in Buenos Aires, and colleagues randomly assigned outpatients with confirmed symptomatic paroxysmal AF that required cardioversion (428 patients), at least two episodes of AF in the six months before randomization (55), or both (103), to receive n-3 PUFA (1 g/day) or placebo for 12 months.

The researchers found that, for symptomatic recurrence of AF, there was no significant difference between the two groups, with 56 of 297 participants (18.9 percent) in the placebo group and 69 of 289 participants (24.0 percent) in the n-3 PUFA group having recurrent symptomatic AF (hazard ratio, 1.28; P = 0.17). There was also no difference between the two groups for the composite of all-cause mortality, nonfatal stroke, nonfatal acute myocardial infarction, systemic embolism, heart failure development, or severe bleeding. The composite end point occurred in 20 patients (6.7 percent) and 16 patients (5.5 percent) randomized to placebo or n-3 PUFA, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.86; P = 0.65).

"Pharmacological supplementation with 1 g of n-3 PUFA for one year did not reduce recurrent AF," the authors write.

The study was funded by the Società Prodotti Antibiotici and Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals, both of which provided the study drugs.

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