Omega-3 fatty acids improve recovery after heart attack

Patients taking a high dose of omega-3 fatty acids for six months had a significant reduction in markers of cardiac remodelling, study shows.

Hand holding fish oil capsule which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Cardiac remodelling after myocardial infarction (MI) is associated with poor outcomes and heart failure, but few therapies are known to modulate it. 

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston carried out a randomised trial involving 180 patients with acute MI assigned to high-dose (4g/day) omega-3 fatty acids and 178 patients assigned to placebo for a six-month period. 

The team found that patients in the omega-3 group had a significant reduction in the volume of blood remaining in the left ventricle after contraction (-5.8%) and heart muscle fibrosis (-5.6%), both of which are measures of cardiac remodelling. Blood markers of myocardial inflammation and fibrosis were also reduced. 

Reporting in Circulation (online, 2 August 2016)[1]
, the researchers say the findings suggest that omega-3 fatty acids can improve cardiac remodelling after MI and that further studies on clinical outcomes are warranted.


[1] Heydari B, Abdullah S, Pottala JV et al. Effect of omega-3 acid ethyl esters on left ventricular remodeling after acute myocardial infarction. Circulation 2016;134:378–391. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.019949


Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, September 2016, Vol 8, No 9;8(9):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201540

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