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Omega-3 fatty acids and cardiac arrhythmias

Rix, Thomas A.a; Christensen, Jeppe H.b; Schmidt, Erik B.a

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: March 2013 - Volume 16 - Issue 2 - p 168–173
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32835bf39b
LIPID METABOLISM AND THERAPY: Edited by Philip C. Calder and Richard J. Deckelbaum

Purpose of review There are suggestions of effects of marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in relation to ventricular arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death and, more recently, also of possible effects related to atrial fibrillation.

Recent findings On the basis of the recently published human studies, this article not only focusses primarily on recent developments and current knowledge on the effect of marine omega-3 PUFAs on atrial fibrillation, but also provides a status for their effects on ventricular arrhythmias.

Summary Marine omega-3 PUFAs may protect against ventricular arrhythmias, and there is growing evidence for an effect of marine omega-3 PUFAs in the prevention and treatment of atrial fibrillation. Further studies are needed to establish which patients are more likely to benefit from omega-3 PUFAs, the timing of treatment, and the dosages.

aDepartment of Cardiology, Aalborg AF Study Group

bDepartment of Nephrology, Center for Cardiovascular Research, Aalborg Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark

Correspondence to Dr Thomas A. Rix, MD, Department of Cardiology, Aalborg Hospital, Sdr. Skovvej 15, 9000 Aalborg, Denmark. Tel: +45 99326898; e-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.