The group receiving Omega-3’s alone experienced significantly lower mortality rates within the first three months of the study. Not only was the risk of sudden death notably reduced at four months, the fish oil subset enjoyed significantly reduced rates of all causes of death, as well as non-fatal myocardial infarction and non-fatal stroke. Overall, treatment with fish oil supplements yielded lower rates of sudden cardiac death (by 45%) and improved all-cause mortality (by 20%).
The researchers noted that the effects attributable to the fish oil supplements support the postulation that Omega-3’s have an anti-arrhythmic effect on the heart, consistent with prior experimental studies. The study also noted that treatment with Vitamin E alone had no statistically-valid beneficial effect.
“Early Protection Against Sudden Death by n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids After Myocardial Infarction: Time-Course Analysis of the Results of the Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto Miocardico (GISSI)-Prevenzione”. Circulation; 2002; 105;1897-1903.
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