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News - Omega-3 May Reduce Risk of Irregular Heartbeat

By Nutri People

According to new findings published in the journal Circulation, increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of atrial fibrillation, the most common type of irregular heartbeat. This new study is said to be the first to investigate the relationship between circulating levels of fatty acids and this type of irregular heartbeat among older adults.

To carry out the trial, Dr Mozaffarian and his team recruited 3,326 men and women aged 65 and over who were free of atrial fibrillation and heart problems. Blood samples were taken at the beginning of the study to measure the participants’ levels of the omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Hospital discharge records and ECG readings taken between 1992 and 2006 were then used to identify those participants who developed atrial fibrillation during the study period. In total, 789 cases of atrial fibrillation were reported.

On analysing the results, the researchers found that the highest average levels of both total omega-3 fatty acids and DHA were associated with a reduction in the risk of atrial fibrillation of about 25%.“When evaluated continuously as a percentage of total fatty acids, each 1% higher total [omega-3 fatty acids] was associated with 9% lower risk of atrial fibrillation,” added the researchers. 

Article References

Wu JH et al. Association of plasma phospholipid long-chain omega-3 Fatty acids with incident atrial fibrillation in older adults: the cardiovascular health study. Circulation. 2012 Mar 6;125(9):1084-93.

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