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There were 14 clinical trials with a total of over 32,000 participants at China’s Nanjing University. The subjects were randomly selected and half of them received the omega- 3 fatty acids and the other half a placebo and then they evaluated the supplement’s effects on cardiac death, cardiovascular events, sudden cardiac death or death from any cause. Some subjects had established coronary artery atherosclerosis, angina, myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease and ischemic heart failure.
The analysis showed a trend toward a reduction in major cardiovascular event risks with the participants that took the omega-3 supplements compared to the control subjects. They also did a separate analysis with only those subjects who hadn’t had a heart attack or failure but did have coronary atherosclerosis and it showed a 51% reduction in the risk of major cardiovascular events in the subjects taking the omega-3’s compared to the control group. They also found that taking more than 1 gram per day of omega-3 fatty acids had a 22% lower risk of major cardiovascular events. It also showed a 13% lower than average risk of dying from cardiac causes, a 14% lower risk of sudden cardiac death and an 8% lower risk from death from any other cause over the subjects who received a placebo.
The researchers commented that the benefits of taking omega-3 fatty acids include improvements in blood pressure, lipids, coagulation and immunological responses and cardiac and vascular function and recommended further clinical studies.
In a study done by researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine with the scientists from Massachusetts General Hospital showed and association between higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in early kidney dialysis patients and reduced risk of sudden cardiac death which is the leading cause of mortality in that group. They compared blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids in 100 patients who suffered sudden cardiac death within the first year of dialysis to levels measured among 300 survivors. The patients who had the higher levels of omega-3’s had up to an 80% lower risk than those who had the lowest levels. They commented that this would greatly influence the kind of diet they would recommend for dialysis patients.