Daily Omega-3 Fatty Acids Benefit HF Patients


Twelve months of daily doses of omega-3 fatty acids resulted in substantial improvements in chronic heart failure, according to a randomized, placebo-controlled study of 133 patients with mild to moderate chronic heart failure caused by nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy.

The study demonstrated improvements in left ventricular ejection fraction, peak oxygen uptake (VO2), exercise duration, and New York Heart Association functional class among patients taking about 5 g of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) daily for 1 month followed by another 11 months of 2-g daily doses (J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 2011;57 [doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2010.11.017]).

“These beneficial effects suggest that omega-3 PUFAs may favorably affect cardiac remodeling and the decline of myocardial function in patients with [heart failure (HF)] and may account for the reduction in cardiovascular hospitalizations and hospitalizations for HF observed in our study,” wrote Dr. Savina Nodari of the University of Brescia [Italy], and colleagues. Whether omega-3 PUFAs exert similar effects in patients with other types of HF or with more advanced HF remains to be verified, they added.

The study was funded by the University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy. One of the study's coauthors (Dr. Mihai Gheorghiade of Northwestern University, Chicago) acknowledged consulting for, and receiving travel funds from, a number of pharmaceutical and device manufacturers. The other coauthors stated that they had no conflicts.

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