Omega-3 fatty acids: role in cardiovascular health and disease

J Cardiovasc Nurs. 2006 Jan-Feb;21(1):17-24, quiz 25-6. doi: 10.1097/00005082-200601000-00005.


Dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids, play an important role in cardiovascular health and disease. Clinical trials provide substantial evidence to support current dietary recommendations for omega-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular disease management. The cardioprotective benefits of omega-3 fatty acids may be attributed to multiple physiological effects on lipids, blood pressure, vascular function, cardiac rhythms, platelet function, and inflammatory responses. The metabolism of omega-3 fatty acids, physiological effects, and clinical considerations with current dietary recommendations and sources of omega-3 fatty acids are presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Platelets / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Blood Vessels / drug effects
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / diet therapy
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Information Services
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / therapeutic use*
  • Fishes
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Internet
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects
  • Nutrition Policy
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritive Value
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior


  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3