medwireNews: A post-hoc analysis of the VITAL trial suggests that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may reduce the risk for heart failure hospitalization, but only in people who also have type 2 diabetes.
This finding is in line with results from some previous major studies, but not others, say Luc Djoussé (Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and co-researchers.
The inconsistency of these results “merits additional investigation in future clinical trials,” they write in JACC: Heart Failure.
In VITAL, 14% of the 25,871 participants had type 2 diabetes. During a median follow-up of 5.3 years, 3.6% of those randomly assigned to daily omega-3 fatty acid supplementation had a first hospitalization for heart failure, as did 5.2% of those given placebo. This equated to a significant 31% risk reduction associated with omega-3 supplementation after adjustment for age, sex and vitamin D, whereas there was no evidence of such an effect in participants without diabetes.
The same was true for recurrent heart failure hospitalization, with supplementation associated with a significant 47% risk reduction among people with diabetes but no benefit in those without.
“[O]ur working hypothesis is that omega-3 supplements reduce serum advanced glycation end products, which accelerate the development and worsening of [heart failure], and improve insulin sensitivity in people with [type 2 diabetes],” says the team.
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