Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

SOFA study reveals no effect of fish oil on life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia

05.09.2005


In patients with an increased risk of heart rhythm problems, cardiac arrest or arrhythmia, eating fish oil did little to reduce that risk. This is the conclusion of a European multi-centre study reported by Brouwer and colleagues of the Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences (WCFS) at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in Stockholm. The findings of this trial do not support strong anti-arrhythmic effects that have been attributed to fish oil in the past. The Study on Omega-3 Fatty acids and ventricular Arrhythmia (SOFA) investigated the effect of taking fish oil capsules on life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia in 546 patients with an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator (ICD). An ICD device is typically implanted into the chest of patients who survived serious cardiac arrhythmia or a cardiac arrest. It monitors the heart rate of the patient and automatically treats serious rhythm problems by shocking or pacing. The ICD contains a memory chip that registers and stores all cardiac arrhythmias and the provided therapy; that is shocking or pacing. Patients with an ICD visit the hospital regularly, usually once per three or four months, to have their memory chip read out. The cardiologist can read out the memory chip from outside the body, and see and record cardiac arrhythmias that occurred in the preceding period. Thus, the ICD enables continuous monitoring of serious heart rhythm disturbances in these patients. This patient group is therefore very suitable for testing a possible anti-arrhythmic effect of fish oil.

Very long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids primarily occur in the diet in fish. They are also named n-3 PUFA or omega-3 fatty acids. Evidence from earlier studies indicates that intake of these n-3 PUFA as present in fish oil reduces the risk of sudden death. Sudden deaths are an important cause of death in the Western world. Approximately 50% of all deaths due to cardiovascular disease are sudden deaths and these are usually caused by arrhythmias. Sudden death is often the first manifestation of cardiovascular disease; thus, people suddenly die without even knowing that they were suffering from heart disease. Fish oil may protect against sudden death by preventing cardiac arrhythmias, but present evidence is contradictory.

Therefore, the Wageningen Centre for Food Sciences (WCFS) initiated and funded the SOFA trial. WCFS is a research alliance of the Dutch government, food industry and research organizations. It performs long-term strategic and fundamental research in the area of food sciences. The main aim of WCFS is to gain fundamental knowledge to develop new and improved foods and production methods with specific attention to health aspects. The SOFA trial also received a grant from the European Union (integrated project SEAFOODplus).



SOFA was designed to answer the question whether or not intake of n-3 PUFA from fish -a regular food ingredient- could reduce the incidence of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia. If true, increasing the intake of n 3 PUFA would be an easy, effective and safe measure to prevent fatal arrhythmia in the general population.

The SOFA trial took place in 546 patients in 26 cardiology centres in eight European countries. Patients with an ICD were randomly given either daily 2g of fish oil (n=273) or placebo oil (n=273) for a period of up to 12 months. The trial was double-blind; neither the patients nor the investigators knew who received fish oil and who received placebo oil. Patients received the capsules on top of the usual patient care. The ICD monitored the occurrence of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia during the entire study. At 12 months, 30% of the patients in the fish oil group had experienced either life-threatening arrhythmia or death compared to 33% of the patients in the placebo group. There was no clear difference between the two groups (P=0.24) in how long it took before a first life-threatening arrhythmia occurred or patients died after starting treatment. Among the subgroup of 342 patients who previously had a myocardial infarction (MI) there was a trend towards a beneficial effect of fish oil (p=0.086, log-rank). In this subgroup, 28% of the patients on fish oil experienced either life-threatening arrhythmia or death compared to 35% of the patients on placebo oil.

According to Brouwer, "The SOFA trial does not indicate a strong beneficial effect of n-3 PUFA from fish on life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia. However, patients with a previous myocardial infarction might still benefit from fish oil. In any case, we found no indications that fish oil would harm patients".

Gina Dellios | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.escardio.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>