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Cardiovascular highlights from non-cardiology journals
  1. Alistair C Lindsay, Editor

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Heart failure

Omega-3 fatty acid levels and congestive heart failure

Long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have previously been associated with a reduced risk of coronary death; however, their effect on other cardiovascular outcomes—such as congestive heart failure (CHF)—are less well established. As CHF is a leading cause of hospitalisations, novel targets for its prevention are a priority.

In this study, Mozaffarian et al examined data from 2735 US adults who were enrolled in the Cardiovascular Health Study from 1992 to 2006. Plasma phospholipid fatty acid concentrations of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) were measured in 1992, and their relationship with incident CHF was assessed by using Cox proportional hazards models. Five hundred and fifty-five cases of CHF were recorded over the follow-up period; after multivariate adjustment, plasma phospholipid EPA concentration was inversely associated with incident CHF (p for trend=0.001). Although a similar trend was seen for docosapentaenoic acid (p=0.057) and total long-chain omega-3 fatty acid concentration (p=0.062), these did not reach significance; no correlation was noted for docosahexaenoic acid (p=0.38).

Conclusions

In this study, higher levels of long-chain …

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