July 24, 2006
LONDON--One year of supplementation with fish oil did not reduce the risk of serious abnormal heart rhythms or sudden death in patients with implantable defibrillators, according to a new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (295:2613-19, 2006) (http://jama.ama-assn.org). The Study on Omega-3 Fatty acids and ventricular Arrhythmia (SOFA) was a randomized, parallel, placebo-controlled, double blind trial conducted at 26 cardiology clinics across Europe, which examined whether the theory that fish oil could reduce sudden cardiac death by reducing susceptibility to arrhythmia. They enrolled 546 patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) and prior documented ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF) received either 2 g/d of fish oil (n=273) or placebo (n=273) for one year. The primary outcome was intervention for tachycardia or fibrillation as well as all-cause death.
A total of 75 patients (27 percent) in the fish oil group and 81 patients (30 percent) in the placebo group needed ICD intervention for VT or VF. Event-free survival did not substantially improve in the patients taking fish oil. They concluded omega-3 essential fatty acids from fish oil did not have a strong protective effect against ventricular arrhythmia.
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