Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

PUFAs for Primary & Secondary CVD Prevention

Cochrane Library; ePub 2018 Nov 27; Abdelhamid, et al

Increasing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) intake probably slightly reduces risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) events and may slightly reduce risk of CHD mortality and stroke but has little or no effect on all-cause or CVD mortality. This according to a recent Cochrane review that assessed the effects of increasing total PUFA intake on CVD and all-cause mortality, lipids, and adiposity in adults. Researchers included 49 randomized controlled trials randomizing 24,272 adult participants, with duration of 1 to 8 years. They found:

  • Increasing PUFA intake probably had little or no effect on all-cause mortality, but likely slightly reduces risk of CHD events from 14.2% to 12.3% and CVD events from 14.6% to 13.0%.
  • Increasing PUFA intake may slightly reduce risk or CHD and stroke but has little or no effect on CV mortality.
  • Increasing PUFA intake probably slightly decreased triglycerides but has no effect on total cholesterol.
  • Increasing PUFA intake probably has little or no effect on adiposity.


Abdelhamid AS, Martin N, Bridges C, et al. Polyunsaturated fatty acids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2018, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD012345. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD012345.pub3.