Study Fish oil supplements may raise risk of stroke, heart issues (May 2024, n=415 737) Regular use of fish oil supplements and course of cardiovascular diseases: prospective cohort study

Michael Harrop

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https://www.cnn.com/2024/05/22/health/fish-oil-supplement-dangers-study-wellness/index.html
https://bmjmedicine.bmj.com/content/3/1/e000451

Abstract​

Objective To examine the effects of fish oil supplements on the clinical course of cardiovascular disease, from a healthy state to atrial fibrillation, major adverse cardiovascular events, and subsequently death.

Design Prospective cohort study.

Setting UK Biobank study, 1 January 2006 to 31 December 2010, with follow-up to 31 March 2021 (median follow-up 11.9 years).

Participants 415 737 participants, aged 40-69 years, enrolled in the UK Biobank study.

Main outcome measures Incident cases of atrial fibrillation, major adverse cardiovascular events, and death, identified by linkage to hospital inpatient records and death registries. Role of fish oil supplements in different progressive stages of cardiovascular diseases, from healthy status (primary stage), to atrial fibrillation (secondary stage), major adverse cardiovascular events (tertiary stage), and death (end stage).

Results Among 415 737 participants free of cardiovascular diseases, 18 367 patients with incident atrial fibrillation, 22 636 with major adverse cardiovascular events, and 22 140 deaths during follow-up were identified. Regular use of fish oil supplements had different roles in the transitions from healthy status to atrial fibrillation, to major adverse cardiovascular events, and then to death. For people without cardiovascular disease, hazard ratios were 1.13 (95% confidence interval 1.10 to 1.17) for the transition from healthy status to atrial fibrillation and 1.05 (1.00 to 1.11) from healthy status to stroke. For participants with a diagnosis of a known cardiovascular disease, regular use of fish oil supplements was beneficial for transitions from atrial fibrillation to major adverse cardiovascular events (hazard ratio 0.92, 0.87 to 0.98), atrial fibrillation to myocardial infarction (0.85, 0.76 to 0.96), and heart failure to death (0.91, 0.84 to 0.99).

Conclusions Regular use of fish oil supplements might be a risk factor for atrial fibrillation and stroke among the general population but could be beneficial for progression of cardiovascular disease from atrial fibrillation to major adverse cardiovascular events, and from atrial fibrillation to death. Further studies are needed to determine the precise mechanisms for the development and prognosis of cardiovascular disease events with regular use of fish oil supplements.
 
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