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ADA: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Don’t Cut Cardiovascular Death

Last Updated: June 11, 2012.

For patients with dysglycemia and at high risk of cardiovascular events, supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids does not reduce the rate of cardiovascular events, according to a study published online June 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with presentation at the American Diabetes Association's 72nd Scientific Sessions, held from June 8 to 12 in Philadelphia.

MONDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with dysglycemia and at high risk of cardiovascular events, supplementation with omega 3 (n-3) fatty acids does not reduce the rate of cardiovascular events, according to a study published online June 11 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with presentation at the American Diabetes Association's 72nd Scientific Sessions, held from June 8 to 12 in Philadelphia.

Jackie Bosch, from McMaster University and Hamilton Health Sciences in Canada, and colleagues from the Outcome Reduction with Initial Glargine Intervention trial, randomized 12,536 adults (mean age, 63.5 years) with cardiovascular risk factors and impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or type 2 diabetes to a 1-gram capsule containing at least 900 mg n-3 fatty acids or placebo, in addition to either insulin glargine or standard care.

During a median of 6.2 years of follow-up, the researchers found that the incidence of death from cardiovascular causes was not significantly different for those receiving n-3 fatty acids or standard care (9.1 versus 9.3 percent; P = 0.72). Supplementation with n-3 fatty acids had no significant effect on the rates of major vascular events, death from any cause, or death from arrhythmia. Among patients receiving n-3 fatty acids, triglyceride levels were reduced by 14.5 mg/dL more than among those receiving placebo (P < 0.001), with no significant impact on other lipids. The rates of adverse effects were similar between the groups.

"Daily supplementation with 1 gram of n-3 fatty acids did not reduce the rate of cardiovascular events in patients at high risk for cardiovascular events," the authors write.

The study was supported by Sanofi and study drugs were provided by Pronova BioPharma Norge; several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Sanofi.

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