[Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on the prevention of atrial arrhythmias]

Ital Heart J Suppl. 2005 Jan;6(1):53-9.
[Article in Italian]


Background: The effects of omega-3 fatty acids on membrane stabilization are well known. Reduction of ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death has been reported; fewer data exist regarding the effects on atrial arrhythmias. The object of this report is to evaluate the reduction of atrial arrhythmia-fibrillation after treatment with omega-3, in patients with dual-chamber pacemakers.

Methods: We have examined 40 patients with paroxysmal atrial tachyarrhythmia recorded at the periodic pacemaker controls. At the study entry, all patients were treated with omega-3 (1 g/die); no changes in the device programmation and in the previous pharmacological therapy were allowed. The devices were interrogated after 4 months of treatment to evaluate the number of episodes and the burden of atrial tachyarrhythmia. At this time, the treatment was discontinued and the patients were reevaluated 4 months later.

Results: Two patients discontinued the treatment complaining of adverse gastroentheric effects. The episodes of atrial tachyarrhythmia in the pre-treatment period resulted 444 +/- 1161, and the burden 3.89% of time; in the treatment period resulted respectively 181 +/- 436 (-59%, p = 0.037) and 1.06% (-67%, p = 0.029). After drug withdrawal, the episodes of atrial tachyarrhythmia raised to 552 +/- 1717 (p = 0.065) and the burden to 2.69% (p = 0.003).

Conclusions: Our data suggest a powerful effect of omega-3 fatty acids in the reduction of atrial tachyarrhythmia-fibrillation in these patients, without significant adverse effects.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Atrial Fibrillation / prevention & control*
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Pacemaker, Artificial
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3