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Lombardi does not report any relevant financial information. In the study you will find all relevant financial information from all other authors.

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Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation in patients with elevated triglyceride levels at high risk of CV, researchers reported.

“Omega-3 fatty acids are used in clinical practice to reduce the risk of CVD in patients with elevated plasma triglycerides,” said Dr. Marco Lombardi, Associate Professor at the Institute of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Sciences at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome and colleagues wrote a research letter to the European Heart Journal: Cardiovascular Pharmacotherapy. “However, safety has been questioned as several studies of CV results showed omega-3 fatty acid supplementation a potential increase in atrial fibrillation compared to placebo.”

Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation in patients with elevated triglyceride levels at high risk of CV. The data were from Lombardi M, et al. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Pharmacother. 2021; doi: 10.1093 / ehjcvp / pvab008.

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on CV outcomes, including the incidence of AF, through November 2020. Studies included were the REDUCE IT study with 8,179 patients (mean age 64 years; 71% men), the ASCEND study with 15,480 patients (mean age 63 years; 63% men), and the R&P study with 12,513 patients (mean age 64 years; 61% men), the STRENGTH study with 13,078 patients (mean age 63 years) years; 65% men) and the OMEMI study with 1,027 patients (mean age 75 years; 71% men).

The primary endpoint was the onset of AF.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation was associated with an increased risk of AF incidents (incidence rate ratio) [IRR] = 1.37; 95% CI, 1.22-1.54; P <0.001) compared to the placebo in the random effects model. In the sensitivity analysis, the researchers included the VITAL Rhythm study and found in patients who took omega-3 fatty acid supplementation (IRR = 1.29; 95% CI, 1.13-1.48; P = 0.0002 ) had a higher risk of AF than patients who received placebo.

The researchers did not observe any significant statistical heterogeneity between the studies or any publication bias.

According to the researchers, the conflicting results of the beneficial effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation on CV results, as well as the potential risk of harm, underscore the need for future studies to unequivocally confirm the beneficial effects of this class of drugs.

“Our study suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is associated with an increased risk of AF in patients with elevated plasma triglyceride and increased risk of CV,” the researchers wrote. “This suggests that AF risk should be considered when prescribing omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in this population.”

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