The population of the Alpha Omega Trial consisted of 4,837 patients, of which 78% was male. Everyone in the study population suffered from a heart attack not more than 10 years before the start of the trial, and all were 60 through 80 years of age. The patients originated from 32 hospitals in The Netherlands. Most patients received state-of-the-art antihypertensive, antithrombotic, and lipid-modifying therapy.
The typical participant
The participants were on average 69 years old at the start of the study and had their (last) heart attack approximately 4 years ago. Twenty four percent of the patients was obese, 21% had diabetes, 42% was inactive and 17% smoked. They had relatively low blood cholesterol and slightly elevated blood pressure levels.
The study has a 2×2 factorial design. Patients were randomly allocated to one of the following four groups that received either a targeted additional amount of 400 mg/day EPA-DHA, or 2 g/day ALA or both or a placebo containing the monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid. An intake of 400 mg EPA-DHA and 2 g ALA per day is equivalent to the Recommended Dietary Allowances of these fatty acids.