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Omega-3 Supplements, Fish Intake Not Associated With Lower Risk of Nonfatal Coronary Artery Disease in Veterans

Neither omega-3 fatty acid supplement use nor fish intake was linked with a lower risk of nonfatal coronary artery disease in US veterans, according to a study in Clinical Nutrition.

“Observational and clinical trial evidence suggests an inverse association of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids with coronary artery disease mortality,” researchers wrote, “although relationships with nonfatal coronary artery disease and stroke are less clear.”  

Researchers investigated associations of omega-3 supplement use and fish intake with nonfatal coronary artery disease and stroke in 197,761 participants in the Million Veteran Program, a cohort study of US veterans with survey, biospecimen, and electronic health record data. Among the veterans, 21% reported they regularly took omega-3 supplements. Median fish intake in the study population was one serving per week.  

Over a median follow-up of nearly 3 years, omega-3 fatty acid supplement use was linked with a lower risk of nonfatal ischemic stroke in veterans. The study identified a hazard ratio of 0.88 with omega-3 fatty acid supplementuse. 

However, omega-3 fatty acid supplement use was not associated with lower risk of nonfatal coronary artery disease, according to the study. Fish intake, meanwhile, was not linked with a lower risk of nonfatal coronary artery disease or nonfatal ischemic stroke in veterans.  

“Randomized controlled trials are needed to confirm whether omega-3 supplementation is protective against ischemic stroke in a US population,” researchers wrote.  —Jolynn Tumolo

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