Article Abstract

New evidence that omega-3 fatty acids have a role in primary prevention of coronary heart disease

Authors: Philip C. Calder

Abstract

A recently published study (1) provides new evidence that omega-3 fatty acids have a role in the primary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD). This new publication included pooled data from 19 cohort studies conducted in 16 countries and including over 45,000 individuals with a median follow-up time of 10 years. Importantly, omega-3 fatty acid concentrations in blood or tissue compartments at study entry were used as the measure of exposure. It was found that each of the four omega-3 fatty acids reported α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) was associated with reduced risk of fatal CHD, with about a 10% reduction in relative risk (RR) for each one standard deviation increase in concentration of the omega-3 fatty acid. These findings make a very valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion about the role of omega-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular disease (CVD) and provide further evidence to support recommendations for the population to consume these fatty acids as part of a healthy diet.

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