Navigation Links
Fish Oil Won't Prevent Irregular Heartbeat After Cardiac Surgery: Study
Date:11/6/2012

By E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- A hoped-for effect of fish oil supplements in preventing an irregular heartbeat that often follows heart surgery did not materialize in a major new trial.

Fish oil capsules with omega-3 fatty acids given in the days before and after surgery failed to stop the post-op onset of atrial fibrillation, a heart arrhythmia that can raise patients' odds for stroke.

The international trial of more than 1,500 patients "is important to provide a definitive answer that [fish oil] does not reduce atrial fibrillation in that setting," said study lead author Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an associate professor of medicine at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston.

His team presented the findings Monday in Los Angeles at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association. They are also being published simultaneously online Nov. 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil have become popular supplements due to their supposed beneficial effect on health. According to preventive cardiologist Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, the omega-3 in fish oil has also "been associated with anti-arrhythmic effects," helping to keep the heart's rhythm regular.

"About one in three patients do have atrial fibrillation after undergoing cardiac surgery, which often results in long hospital stays," Steinbaum noted, so it was reasonable to wonder if giving patients short-term doses of fish oil might reduce their risk.

In the new study, Mozaffarian and colleagues recruited 1,516 cardiac surgery patients, average age 64, from the United States, Italy and Argentina. For between three to five days prior to their scheduled heart surgeries, the patients got either fish oil capsules or an inactive placebo, and were also given double the amount of the capsules after their surgeries -- until post-surgery hospital discharge or 10 days, whichever came first.

The fish oil seemed to have no effect on whether or not the patient developed atrial fibrillation after the surgery, the team reported. Speaking at an AHA press briefing, study co-author Dr. Roberto Marchioli stressed that this doesn't mean that omega-3 fatty acids don't help the heart more generally.

"In this setting, omega-3 fatty acids may simply not have enough power to be effective in preventing arrhythmias," said Marchioli, a cardiologist at the Consorzio Mario Negri Sud in Santa Maria Imbaro, Italy.

Another cardiologist agreed that fish oil may have its limits.

"The medical literature is becoming more suggestive that omega-3 supplements may be a somewhat helpful, safe and additive health strategy in general terms but not a definite cardio-protective treatment," said Dr. David Friedman, chief of heart failure services at North Shore-LIJ's Plainview Hospital in Plainview, N.Y.

Mozaffarian did note one silver lining from the study for patients, however.

"Fish oil is safe in this setting -- there was no evidence for increased bleeding, in fact there was a decrease in bleeding," he said. That's important, because "many surgeons now recommend that patients stop their fish oil before cardiac surgery," Mozaffarian pointed out. "This is by far the largest trial of fish oil in cardiac surgery, so our data suggests that it's safe to use your fish oil in cardiac surgery."

Mozaffarian also said that whatever power fish oil might have in influencing outcomes for very sick heart patients may be obscured by the fact that most of these patients are also taking multiple medicines, clouding the results of any short-term study.

Over the longer term, and for healthier people, omega-3s probably do have some heart-healthy benefit, Mozaffarian said.

"If you put together all of the observational studies and all of the trials, I think there's evidence that some fish or fish oil intake compared to none reduces death from heart disease," he said.

More information

Find out more about atrial fibrillation at the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

SOURCES: Nov. 4, 2012, press briefing, annual meeting, American Heart Association, Los Angeles, with: Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., associate professor, medicine, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston and Roberto Marchioli, M.D., Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Santa Maria Imbaro, Italy; Suzanne Steinbaum, M.D., preventive cardiologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; David Friedman, chief of heart failure services, North Shore-LIJ Plainview Hospital, Plainview, N.Y.; Nov. 5, 2012, Journal of the American Medical Association, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. HIV and AIDS prevention--Progress and the challenges ahead
2. Study suggests new way to prevent recurrent ear infections
3. Study shows PFO closure may be superior to medical therapy in preventing stroke
4. New tools help nursing homes track and prevent deadly infections
5. Study provides roadmap for delirium risks, prevention, treatment, prognosis and research
6. New gene offers hope for preventive medicine against fractures
7. Exercise May Prevent Stress and Anxiety, Study Suggests
8. AACR to host 11th Annual Cancer Prevention Research Conference
9. ESC: Prevention without borders
10. CDC funds Wayne State University research to understand, prevent teen dating violence
11. U.S. Expands SIDS Prevention Effort
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Fish Oil Won't Prevent Irregular Heartbeat After Cardiac Surgery: Study
(Date:3/25/2017)... ... ... Swissray is pleased to announce the release of the ELITE DXA, a new bone ... scan window, which is more than double that of existing bone densitometers. Historically, subjects ... an accurate total body bone density or body composition study. The ELITE DXA ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... Vighter established its NAEMT ... by providing Prehospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) course scholarships to four medics assigned ... education developed in cooperation with the American College of Surgeons to promote critical ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... scale; from third world countries to hospitals in the United States, it’s a ... conversation on the current obstacles facing infection prevention and offers strategies for the ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) ... awards, now in their 12th year, are among the most prestigious in radiology marketing ... the awards were retooled to recognize achievements in both large budget (over $5,000) and ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... TX (PRWEB) , ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... clinic which can be found at 9618 Huebner Road. The clinic is the group’s ... OCS, Clinic Director, and Dr. Ali Higgins, PT, will provide care from the clinic, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/24/2017)... DUBLIN , Mar 24, 2017 Research ... in Drug Discovery and Diagnostics, 2017 - 2035" report to ... The ... current landscape and future outlook of the growing market of deep ... data revolution, deep learning algorithms have emerged as a novel solution ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Today Stock-Callers.com have issued ... are: Neovasc Inc. (NASDAQ: NVCN), Hologic Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX), Edwards ... SSH ). These companies are part of the Healthcare ... Thursday, March 23 rd , 2017, with the NYSE Health ... health care companies in the S&P 500 were down about ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... INDIANAPOLIS , March 24, 2017  Eli ... today announced plans to invest $850 million in ... span facilities across its U.S. enterprise, including research ... The investments are being driven by demand for ... of potential medicines in development targeting cancer, pain, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: