Authors Correct Negative Omega-3 Annals Study

<p>Researchers have issued a correction to their recent Annals of Internal Medicine systematic review that unfairly created waves of negative media for omega-3s.</p>

SALT LAKE CITY—Researchers have issued a correction to their recent Annals of Internal Medicine systematic review that unfairly created waves of negative media for omega-3s (Ann Intern Med. 2014. doi:10.7326/M13-1788).

Similar to a recent study published in JAMA—also with negative industry implications—the Annals review did not identify individual coronary events but instead mixed primary and secondary prevention. Though the authors reported a 25-percent decreased risk in coronary outcomes correlated to circulating docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), they determined, "Current evidence does not clearly support guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats."

However, the authors have since issued a correction to the article that alters their findings—though the authors have said it does not change their conclusions.

According to Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED), the University of Cambridge and Harvard University authors initially reported the relative risk for coronary outcomes as statistically insignificant (.93), due to a data entry error. The corrected version logs the risk in prospective cohort studies of total long-chain omega-3s as a significant .87.

Though the original article received considerable media attention, the correction has not.

"The mistakes made in the publication were unfortunate and have public health implications, particularly since it's the message(s) from the original media blitz that consumers are going to remember," GOED said in a statement to INSIDER. "That omega-3 consumption is not beneficial borders on absurd given the wealth of information providing support otherwise. In the interest of damage control, GOED would like to see the article retracted and subsequently resubmitted in order to garner as much media attention as the original publication." 

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