Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular events

Omega-3 fatty acids not related to cardiovascular events

The results of prospective cohort studies suggest that fish and omega-3 fatty acids are associated with a low risk of fatal heart attack, sudden death and cardiovascular diseases in general. The Alpha Omega Trial showed that low-dose supplementation of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and of alpha linolenic acid (ALA) did not reduce major cardiovascular events in patients after heart attack.

Kaplan-Meier curves for Major Cardiovascular Events

What does this mean?

In contrast to earlier trials the omega-3 fatty acids did not reduce major cardiovascular events in the more recent trials. This may be a consequence of the current state-of-the-art drug treatment of elevated blood pressure, elevated serum cholesterol and the risk of thrombosis and results in a low absolute risk of cardiovascular events. In that situation it is much more difficult to show an effect of omega-3 fatty acids on major cardiovascular events than in the situation of a high absolute risk as observed in the earlier trials.