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29-11-2011 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Fatty acid supplementation reduces ventricular arrhythmia-related events


Free abstract

MedWire News: Low doses of n-3 fatty acids reduce the risk for ventricular arrhythmia-related events in post-myocardial infarction (MI) patients with diabetes, research shows.

Supplementation with fatty acids also reduced the composite end-point of ventricular arrhythmia-related events plus fatal MI, but not fatal MI alone.

The researchers analyzed data from over 1000 participants of The Alpha Omega Trial who were randomly assigned to receive one of four different margarines, consisting of three with an additional amount of n-3 fatty acids (400 mg/day eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid [EHA-DHA], 2 g/day α-linolenic acid [ALA], or a combination of both [EHA-DHA plus ALA]) and one placebo, for 40 months.

During the follow-up, 29 patients developed a ventricular arrhythmia-related event and 27 died of MI. The mean intake of margarine was 18.6 g per day; 86.7% of the patients fully adhered to the study guidelines and consumed a mean 20.7 g per day.

Daan Kromhout (Wageningen University, the Netherlands) and team found that the lowest incidence of ventricular arrhythmia-related events occurred in patients receiving the combined supplementation of EHA-DHA plus ALA.

After adjustment for age, gender, and current smoking, the combined supplementation of these three fatty acids reduced the risk for ventricular arrhythmia-related events by 84% compared with placebo.

Similar effects were observed for the composite end-point, writes the team. Indeed, after adjustment, EPA-DHA plus ALA reduced the combined endpoint by a significant 72%.

These three fatty acids also reduced fatal MI by 47%, but this reduction was not significant. All-cause mortality was not significantly reduced by n-3 fatty acid supplementation.

The authors conclude: "The results of more trials on the effect of different n-3 fatty acids are needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn on their role in the etiology of ventricular arrhythmias and fatal CHD [coronary heart disease]."

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 201

By Nikki Withers

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