Fishing for Improved Recovery

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil may aid healing after heart attack




 

Giving heart attack patients a high dose of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil, daily for six months after a heart attack, improved the function of the heart and reduced scarring in the undamaged muscle, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

The heart’s shape and function can be altered after a heart attack, a condition known as post-heart attack remodeling. It is linked with poor patient outcomes and could lead to heart failure. Therapies that can improve healing of the heart or prevent adverse remodeling remain scarce.

A previous study found that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil were associated with improved survival for heart attack patients, but the role of omega-3 fatty acids in improving the structure and tissue of the heart in patients receiving current guideline-based therapy after a heart attack was unknown.

In the new OMEGA-REMODEL randomized clinical trial, researchers found compared to those taking a placebo, patients taking a dose of 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily for six months:

  • experienced a 5.8 percent reduction in left ventricular end-systolic volume index, which is a clinical marker that can predict patient outcome after a heart attack; and
  • had a 5.6 percent reduction in a measurement of scarred connective tissue formation in the undamaged heart muscle.

“Heart failure is still a major problem after a heart attack despite all the therapy we have and the advances in interventional care,” said Raymond Y. Kwong, M.D., M.P.H., senior author of the study and director of Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. “Our findings show that omega-3 fatty acids are a safe and effective treatment in improving cardiac remodeling, so it may be promising in reducing the incidence of heart failure or death, which are still major healthcare burdens to patients who suffer a heart attack.”

Researchers said these results suggest that omega-3 fatty acids allow the heart to contract better and also reduces the scarring in the region that is not damaged.

The researchers also observed a reduction in biomarkers for inflammation, suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids have some anti-inflammatory properties.

Source: American Heart Association News

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Download the Heart Insight App for FREE

Enjoy Heart Insight anywhere and everywhere via our free apps for iOS and Android devices or your Kindle Fire.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Departments

Heart News

Heart health news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.

Heartfelt

Articles, poems and art submitted by heart disease survivors and their loved ones.

Life's Simple 7

Improving your health is as easy as minding seven simple health factors and behaviors. Tips and information to help you improve your health and enhance your quality of life.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These heart patients, their loved ones and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.