A meta-analysis on Omega-3 supplements in preventing recurrence of atrial fibrillation

Ying Jiang, Hui Ching Tan, Wilson Wai San Tam, Toon Wei Lim and Wenru Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:6586-6594. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23783

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Ying Jiang1, Hui Ching Tan2, Wilson Wai San Tam1, Toon Wei Lim3 and Wenru Wang1

1Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore

2Department of Nursing, National University Hospital, Singapore

3National University Hospital, Assistant Professor, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Correspondence to:

Wenru Wang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; recurrence of atrial fibrillation; meta-analysis

Received: September 12, 2017     Accepted: December 26, 2017     Published: December 30, 2017


Previous studies had suggested that Omega-3 fatty acids have pleiotropic effects and favourable safety profile, which may potentially increase the efficacy of antiarrhythmic drugs in suppressing atrial arrhythmias through combination therapy. This meta-analysis aimed to determine the effectiveness of using Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids as a sole anti-arrhythmic agent or as an adjunct to existing pharmacological therapies in preventing atrial fibrillation recurrence. Randomized controlled trials published in English, from inception to December 2016, were considered. We searched for published studies in the following electronic databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, EMBASE, Medline, Scopus, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature. Pooled hazard ratio (HR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) for time to first atrial fibrillation recurrence was analysed using a fixed effects model. Four RCTs with 1,268 participants were included in the review. Our results showed that Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid therapy had no effect on preventing atrial fibrillation recurrence compared to control/placebo group (HR: 1.13, 95% CI: 0.96 to 1.33, p = 0.14), with no significant heterogeneity found among those studies (Q value = 0.15, 9 = 0.99, I2 = 0%). Therefore, current evidence does not support treatment benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids in preventing atrial fibrillation recurrence among patients who have not been treated by any conventional reversion treatment, or who have only been treated with pharmacological therapy.

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