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Heart 98:1620-1625 doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2012-302119
  • Review

Effects of fish oil supplementation on cardiac function in chronic heart failure: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials

  1. Xiaoying Li1
  1. 1First Department of Geriatric Cardiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, China
  2. 2Medical College of Nankai University, Tianjin, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor X Li, First Department of Geriatric Cardiology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, 28 Fuxing Road, Beijing 100853, China; lixy301{at}163.com
  1. Contributors All authors are in agreement with the content of the manuscript, are aware of the submission and guarantee the work. WX, WW and XL conceived and designed the experiments. WX and WW performed the experiments. WX, WW and XL analysed the data and wrote the paper.

  • Received 22 March 2012
  • Accepted 23 May 2012
  • Published Online First 3 July 2012

Abstract

Context The effects of fish oil on cardiac function, ventricular remodelling and functional capacity in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) remain controversial.

Objective The aim of this meta-analysis was to evaluate effects of fish oil on cardiac function and related parameters in CHF patients.

Data Sources Medline, Embase, the Cochrane Library and references cited in related reviews and studies.

Study Selection Randomised controlled trials of fish oil supplementation on cardiac function in patients with CHF were identified.

Data Extraction Two investigators read all papers and extracted all relevant information. A fixed effect or, in the presence of heterogeneity, a random effect model, was used to estimate the combined effects.

Results 7 trials with 825 participants were included. Meta-analysis results showed that left ventricular ejection fraction was significantly increased (weighted mean difference (WMD) = 2.25%, 95% CI 0.66 to 3.83, p = 0.005) and left ventricular end-systolic volume was significantly decreased (WMD = 7.85 ml, 95% CI −15.57 to −0.12, p = 0.05) in the fish oil group compared with the placebo group, although left ventricular end-diastolic volume was not significantly affected. Meta-regression and subgroup analysis indicated that the improvement in left ventricular systolic function was more remarkable in patients with nonischaemic heart failure. Fish oil supplementation also improved the New York Heart Association functional classification and peak oxygen consumption in patients with non-ischaemic heart failure.

Conclusions Improvement in cardiac function, remodelling and functional capacity may be important mechanisms underlying the potential therapeutic role of fish oil for patients with CHF. These effects might be more remarkable in patients with non-ischaemic heart failure.

Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.