Omega-3 index and prognosis in acute coronary chest pain patients with a low dietary intake of omega-3

Scand Cardiovasc J. 2013 Apr;47(2):69-79. doi: 10.3109/14017431.2012.747220. Epub 2012 Dec 12.


Background: The omega-3 index (eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid) content in red blood cell membranes has been suggested as a novel risk marker for cardiac death. Objective. To assess the ability of the omega-3 index to predict all-cause mortality, cardiac death and sudden cardiac death following hospitalization with an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), and to include arachidonic acid (AA) in risk assessment.

Material and methods: The omega-3 index was measured in 572 consecutive patients (median 63 years and 59% males) admitted with chest pain and suspected ACS in an inland Northern Argentinean city with a dietary habit that was essentially based on red meat and a low intake of fish. Clinical endpoints were collected during a 5-year follow-up period, median 3.6 years, range 1 day to 5.5 years. Stepwise Cox regression analysis was employed to compare the rate of new events in the quartiles of the omega-3 index measured at inclusion. Multivariable analysis was performed.

Results: No statistical significant differences in baseline characteristics were noted between quartiles of the omega-3 index. The median of the adjusted omega-3 index was 3.6%. During the follow-up period, 100 (17.5%) patients died. Event rates were similar in all quartiles of the omega-3 index, with no statistical significant differences. AA added no prognostic information.

Conclusion: In a population with a low intake of fish and fish oils, the adjusted omega-3 index did not predict fatal events following hospitalization in patients with acute chest pain and suspected ACS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / blood*
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome / mortality
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Argentina
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Chest Pain / blood
  • Diet*
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / blood*
  • Female
  • Fishes*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3