[n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, heart rate variability and ventricular arrhythmias in post-AMI-patients. A clinical controlled trial]

Ugeskr Laeger. 1997 Sep 8;159(37):5525-9.
[Article in Danish]


There is evidence for an antiarrhythmic effect of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA) in animals. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of dietary n-3 PUFA on ventricular arrhythmias and heart rate variability (HRV) in patients with a previous myocardial infarction. Fifty-five patients were randomized to receive either 5.2 g of n-3 PUFA daily for 12 weeks or placebo in a double blind, placebo-controlled study. Prior to randomization a 24-hour Holter recording was obtained, and this was repeated at the end of the study. The major end-points were the number of ventricular extrasystoles (VE)/24 hours and the 24-hour HRV. A non-significant decrease in VE/24 hours was found in both the n-3 PUFA group and among controls after dietary supplementation, whereas HRV significantly increased after n-3 PUFA compared to both baseline values (p = 0.04) and to controls (p = 0.01). The present study therefore supports the hypothesis that n-3 PUFA may have an anti-arrhythmic effect in humans.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • English Abstract
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3 / administration & dosage*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Myocardial Infarction / diet therapy
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Prognosis


  • Anti-Arrhythmia Agents
  • Fatty Acids, Omega-3