September 13, 2012 (Ioannina, Greece) — A new meta-analysis looking at the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in patients at high risk for cardiovascular events has shown that the supplements have no effect on hard clinical outcomes, including all-cause mortality, cardiac death, sudden death, MI, or stroke. There was a trend toward benefit in the prevention of sudden death, but the reduction failed to reach statistical significance, a finding the researchers believe refutes any supposed antiarrhythmic-mediated effect of omega-3 fatty acids.
"The meta-analysis, taking into account the recent and previously published trials, showed that omega-3 fatty acids did not significantly reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events," senior investigator Dr Moses Elisaf (University Hospital of Ioannina, Greece) told heartwire. "However, there was a trend toward benefit in terms of sudden death, about a 13% reduction, and myocardial infarction, about a 10% reduction, but the decrease was not statistically significant. So, we can conclude from this meta-analysis and other recently published trials that the effect of omega-3 fatty-acid supplementation in high-risk patients is rather low. They are without side effects, but without significant efficacy."
The study is published in the September 12, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association