Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 259–265

Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acid for Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention in Patients with Cardiovascular Disease: A Contemporary Meta-Analysis of Randomized, Controlled Trials

  • Qi Chen
  • Liu-Quan Cheng
  • Tie-Hui Xiao
  • Yu-Xiao Zhang
  • Mei Zhu
  • Ran Zhang
  • Ke Li
  • Yu Wang
  • Yang Li
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10557-011-6306-8

Cite this article as:
Chen, Q., Cheng, LQ., Xiao, TH. et al. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther (2011) 25: 259. doi:10.1007/s10557-011-6306-8

Abstract

Purpose

Experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids have an antiarrhythmic effect. However, evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) for prevention of sudden cardiac death (SCD) remains controversial. This study sought to evaluate the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids for secondary prevention of SCD in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the era of guidelines-based therapy.

Methods

We conducted a PubMed/EMBASE/CENTRAL search for RCTs evaluating omega-3 fatty acids for CVD secondary prevention with at least 6 months follow-up and with data on SCD. Primary outcome was SCD. Secondary outcomes were cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality.

Results

Ten randomized controlled trials were identified evaluating a total of 33,429 patients with CVD. In patients with guidelines-adjusted therapy, omega-3 fatty acids did not reduce the risk ratio (RR) of SCD (RR:0.96; 95% CI: 0.84-1.10). In patients with non- guidelines-adjusted therapy, omega-3 fatty acids reduced the RR of SCD (RR: 0.64; 95% CI: 0.51-0.80). Overall, RR for cardiac death and all-cause mortality were 0.81 (95% CI: 0.69-0.95) and 0.89 (95% CI: 0.79-1.01), respectively.

Conclusions

In the era of guidelines-adjusted treatment for CVD secondary prevention, omega-3 fatty acids do not appear to reduce SCD.

Key words

Meta-analysis Randomized controlled trials Omega-3 fatty acids Sudden cardiac death 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Chen
    • 1
  • Liu-Quan Cheng
    • 2
  • Tie-Hui Xiao
    • 1
  • Yu-Xiao Zhang
    • 1
  • Mei Zhu
    • 1
  • Ran Zhang
    • 1
  • Ke Li
    • 1
  • Yu Wang
    • 1
  • Yang Li
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Geriatric CardiologyThe General Hospital of the People’s Liberation ArmyBeijingCountry
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyThe General Hospital of the People’s Liberation ArmyBeijingCountry

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