Marine omega-3 fatty acids and coronary heart disease

Curr Opin Cardiol. 2012 Jul;27(4):412-9. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0b013e328353febd.

Abstract

Purpose of review: To provide an overview of the key earlier intervention studies with marine omega-3 fatty acids and to review and comment on recent studies reporting on mortality outcomes and on selected underlying mechanisms of action.

Recent findings: Studies relating marine omega-3 fatty acid status to current or future outcomes continue to indicate benefits, for example, on incident heart failure, congestive heart failure, acute coronary syndrome, and all-cause mortality. New mechanistic insights into the actions of marine omega-3 fatty acids have been gained. Three fairly large secondary prevention trials have not confirmed the previously reported benefit of marine omega-3 fatty acids towards mortality in survivors of myocardial infarction. Studies of marine omega-3 fatty acids in atrial fibrillation and in cardiac surgery-induced atrial fibrillation have produced inconsistent findings and meta-analyses demonstrate no benefit. A study confirmed that marine omega-3 fatty acids reduce the inflammatory burden with advanced atherosclerotic plaques, so inducing greater stability.

Summary: Recent studies of marine omega-3 fatty acids on morbidity of, and mortality from, coronary and cardiovascular disease have produced mixed findings. These studies raise new issues to be addressed in future research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation / pathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / prevention & control
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Blood Platelets
  • Coronary Artery Disease / drug therapy*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / mortality
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Fibrinolysis / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy*
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Secondary Prevention / methods
  • United States
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / pathology
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / prevention & control

Substances

  • Docosahexaenoic Acids
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid