The fish oil-based drug known as omega-3 carboxylic acids or omega-3 CAs did not reduce the risk of cardiac events compared to a placebo. This is evident from groundbreaking research presented today at the American Heart Association’s 2020 Scientific Sessions.The meeting will take place from Friday, November 13th through Tuesday, November 17th, 2020 and is a leading global exchange of the latest scientific advances, research results and evidence-based updates to clinical practice in cardiovascular science for healthcare worldwide.
Fish oil supplements that contain the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are commonly taken to prevent or reduce complications in heart disease.
A 2017 American Heart Association science report found that omega-3 fish oil supplements prescribed by a healthcare professional may help prevent death from heart disease in patients who have recently had a heart attack and those with heart failure Can prevent death and hospitalization. However, there is a lack of scientific research to support the clinical use of these supplements for heart disease prevention in the general population.
“Many people continue to take fish oil supplements to help prevent heart disease. However, the fish oil drug tested in the STRENGTH trial was not effective for this purpose,” said senior author A. Michael Lincoff, MD, vice chairman of research for the cardiovascular division -Medicine and Interventional Cardiologist at the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute at Cleveland Clinic.
“We believe the questions about the benefit versus risk of fish oil will go unanswered unless another study using a neutral placebo like corn oil definitely shows cardiovascular benefits for an omega-3 fatty acid drug,” he said.
In this international phase III study, omega-3 CA was evaluated in 13,078 adults at 675 centers in 22 countries. The patients were all on cholesterol-lowering statins and had either blockage of the arteries in the heart, brain, or legs, or an increased risk of heart disease due to other conditions such as diabetes or lifestyle risk factors such as smoking.
Participants were randomly given either 4 grams of the omega-3 CA drug or the corn oil placebo daily. The researchers compared the rates of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, the need for coronary revascularization (stenting or bypass surgery), or hospitalization for unstable angina pectoris for all patient groups.
The study began in 2014 and was discontinued slightly early in January 2020 as preliminary results of the study deemed it unlikely to demonstrate the benefits of omega-3 CA drugs. At least one cardiac event occurred in 1,580 patients over a mean follow-up period of about three years. There were no significant differences in the number of patients who experienced cardiac events between the two treatment groups. In addition, patients taking the omega-3 CA drug were more likely to have potentially dangerous abnormal heart rhythms (atrial fibrillation) than those taking the control corn oil.
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