Omega-3 fatty acids and severe arrhythmias in heart attack patients with diabetes

Kaplan-Meier curves for Ventricular-Arrhythmia Related Events (VARE) and VARE plus Fatal Myocardial Infarction

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce severe arrhythmia-related events in high-risk patients

In the Alpha Omega Trial a high-risk subgroup was selected of patients who have had a heart attack and also had diabetes. The patients in this group who received an additional amount of 400 mg/day EPA-DHA and 2 g/day ALA experienced a 7 times lower risk of severe arrhythmia-related events compared to the placebo equivalent. These omega-3 fatty acids also reduced the risk of the severe arrhythmia-related events and fatal heart attack with a factor 4. Severe arrhythmia-related events included non-fatal or fatal cardiac arrest, sudden death or an implantation of a defibrillator.

Interpretation

Omega-3 fatty acids reduced the risk of severe arrhythmia-related events in high-risk patients of the Alpha Omega Trial. Similar results were obtained in the Italian GISSI-Prevenzione trial. The common feature of these two studies is that both included high-risk patients after heart attack, in the Alpha Omega Trial due to the combination with diabetes and in the GISSI-Prevenzione trial because the majority of the patients did not receive cholesterol-lowering drug treatment.

References