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Commentary on: The ASCEND Study Collaborative Group. Effects of n-3 fatty acid supplements in diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 2018;379:1540–50.
Commentary by: Dr Emma F Magavern and Dr Teck Khong Clinical Pharmacology, St George's, University of London, London, UK
Series Editor: Dr Teck Khong, DTB Associate Editor Clinical Pharmacology, St George's, University of London, London, UK
Key learning points
Although observational studies and meta-analyses have suggested consumption of oily fish can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, randomised controlled trials have shown conflicting results for primary prevention.
Daily n-3/omega-3 fatty acid supplementation (thought to be the key beneficial component of fish oil) in this study did not reduce vascular events in patients with diabetes but without known cardiovascular disease.
Results from this study, together with results of earlier randomised trials involving patients with and those without diabetes, do not support use of supplementation with n-3 fatty acids to prevent vascular events.
A large randomised control study with mean follow-up to 7.4 years found that daily supplementation with 840 mg of marine n-3 fatty acids (commonly known as omega-3 fatty acids), either with or without aspirin, did not decrease the risk of serious vascular, or specifically cardiovascular, events in patients with diabetes but without known cardiovascular disease.1
This randomised placebo-controlled multifactorial trial studied the effect of n-3 fatty acids daily for a mean of 7.4 years in 15 480 patients from the UK who had diabetes but without known cardiovascular disease.1 …
Competing interests None declared. Refer to the online supplementary files to view the ICMJE form(s).
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.