n-3 fatty acids no benefit for high-risk cardio patients

May 9, 2013
n-3 fatty acids no benefit for high-risk cardio patients
For patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors or atherosclerotic vascular disease who have not had a myocardial infarction, daily treatment with n-3 fatty acids does not reduce cardiovascular mortality or morbidity, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

(HealthDay)—For patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors or atherosclerotic vascular disease who have not had a myocardial infarction, daily treatment with n-3 fatty acids does not reduce cardiovascular mortality or morbidity, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Maria Carla Roncaglioni, Ph.D., from the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri in Milan, and colleagues conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial involving 12,513 patients with multiple or atherosclerotic vascular disease, but without myocardial infarction. Participants were randomized to receive 1 g daily n-3 fatty acids (6,244 participants) or placebo (olive oil; 6,269 participants).

With a median of five years of follow-up, the researchers found that the primary end point (cumulative rate of death, nonfatal , and nonfatal stroke) occurred in 11.8 percent of the cohort, 11.7 percent of whom had received n-3 fatty acids and 11.9 percent of whom had received placebo. Similar results were seen for all secondary end points.

"On the basis of the results, we conclude that there was no significant benefit of n-3 fatty acids in reducing the risk of death from cardiovascular causes or hospital admission for cardiovascular causes," the authors write.

The study was partially funded by Pfizer and Sigma Tau.

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