Disappointing results for fish oil in atrial fibrillation trial


Recent trials of fish oil for prevention of atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence have provided mixed results. In the quest for a definitive answer, researchers led by Anil Nigam, from the University of Montreal, Canada, performed AFFORD, a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial in 337 patients with symptomatic paroxysmal or persistent AF.

According to the research published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2014;64[14]:1441-1448)[1]
, high-dose fish oil (4g/day) did not reduce the primary endpoint, symptomatic or asymptomatic AF recurrence, versus placebo when taken for up to 16 months (median 271 days). AF recurrence rates were 64.1% with fish-oil supplements and 63.2% with placebo. Markers of inflammation and oxidative stress were not reduced by fish oil, which the researchers say may explain its lack of efficacy. 



[1] Nigam A, Talajic M, Roy D et al. Fish oil for the reduction of atrial fibrillation recurrence, inflammation, and oxidative stress. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;64(14):1441-1448. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.07.956 (accessed 24 October 2014).

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 1 November 2014, Vol 293, No 7834;293(7834):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2014.20066948

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