Objective: Increased platelet activity predicts adverse cardiovascular events. The objective was to assess the effects of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA)-supplementation on platelet aggregation.
Methods and results: We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials identified using PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library. Fifteen studies were included. In comparison to placebo using the random-effect model, n-3 PUFA-supplementation significantly reduced adenosine diphosphate-induced platelet aggregation (standard mean difference [SMD] = -1.23 with 95% confidence interval [CI] -2.24 to -0.23, p = 0.02) and platelet aggregation units, determined using the VerifyNow(®) rapid platelet-function assay system (SMD = -6.78 with 95% CI -12.58 to -0.98, p = 0.02). There was a trend toward decreased collagen-induced (SMD = -0.70 with 95% CI -0.72 to 0.33, p = 0.18) and arachidonic acid-induced platelet aggregation (SMD = -0.43 with 95% CI -2.26 to 1.40, p = 0.64) compared with controls; however, statistical significance was not reached.
Conclusions: Our meta-analysis demonstrates that n-3 PUFA-supplementation is associated with a significant reduction in platelet aggregation when the participants were at poor health status, but not in healthy persons. High-risk patients with cardiovascular disease and even diabetics may potentially benefit from n-3 PUFAs therapy. However, n-3 PUFAs may not be effective in primary prevention. Larger trials need to be carried out to confirm the present findings.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.