Fish oil omega-3 fatty acids tied to lower risk of heart failure

An NHLBI-funded study showed that high plasma levels of fatty acids found in fish oil were associated with a reduced risk of heart failure over a median follow up period of 13 years. The findings, published in the JACC: Heart Failure, might open avenues of research about the role of omega-3 fatty acids in the prevention of heart failure.

The researchers studied 6,562 participants, 52% women, from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) cohort. Of them, 2,532 were white, 1,794 were black, 1442 were Hispanic, and 794 were Chinese.

The study demonstrated an inverse correlation in which the higher the plasma levels of the omega-3 fatty acids, the lower the risk of both types of heart failure. After accounting for differences in sex, race, body mass index, smoking, diabetes, blood pressure and medications, the correlation remained intact.