Omega-3s May Have Protective Effect After Heart Attack

Published Online: Monday, January 14, 2013
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Omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial after heart attacks in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study published online by Clinical Therapeutics on December 13, 2012.

Researchers evaluated the impact of licensed, highly purified omega-3 fatty acids on the mortality rate after heart attacks in patients with and without diabetes. Using data from the General Practice Research Database, researchers followed 2466 patients who were prescribed 1 g of omega-3 fatty acids daily within 90 days of their first heart attack.

The researchers recorded data on the rate of progression to death, considering other cardiovascular risks and treatments. Most patients were receiving other treatments at the same time such as lipid-lowering therapies, antihypertensives, and antiplatelets.

The researchers found that patients who began taking omega-3 fatty acids within 90 days of their first heart attack had a 20% reduced risk of death. Patients who began taking omega-3 fatty acids within 2 weeks of their heart attack increased the benefits by as much as 40%.

The results were consistent in both diabetic and nondiabetic patients. Researchers suggest that omega-3 fatty acid treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after a heart attack in patients with and without diabetes.

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