Table 3.24 Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on heart rate variability — SD of RR (msec) — in studies (12 weeks or cross-sectional)a

Author, YearOmega-3 Fatty Acid Armb ControlResultsc Qualityd Applicabilitye
NSourceg/dNSourceBaseNetΔ P SummaryJadadAllocation Conceal
Christensen, 199920Fish oilED5.920Olive oil136+13NSB4UnGENII
20Fish oilED1.7164+3NS
Christensen, 199626Fish oilED4.323Olive oil115+18<.05B4AdCVDIII
Cross-sectional Frequency CohortΔ
Fish and Mediterranean Diets
Christensen, 1997f 18Fish diet>2x/wk9No fish119+16g NS------CVDIII
25Fish diet1x/wk122+19g NS

Standard deviation of RR intervals on 24 hour ambulatory electrocardiography recordings.


A = ALA; D = DHA; E = EPA; ED = EPA+DHA; T = Total omega-3 fatty acids.


Base=baseline level in treatment arm; NetΔ =net difference in change in omega-3 fatty acids arm compared with the change in control arm, see Methods; CohortΔ = difference in IMT between cohort and reference cohort and reference cohort (cross-sectional); P = P value of difference between treatment and control arms; NS = not statistically significant.


A = good quality; B = fair quality; C = poor quality; Jadad = Jadad Score (0–5, based on randomization, double blinding, and dropouts); Ad = adequate allocation concealment; In = inadequate allocation concealment; Un = allocation concealment unclear. See Methods.


CVD = history of cardiovascular disease; DM I/II = diabetes mellitus type 1 or 2; DysLip = dyslipidemia; GEN = general, healthy population; N/IDDM = (non-) insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. I = broadly applicable; II = applicable to sub-group; III = narrow applicability. See Methods.


Cross-sectional evaluation of baseline data from Christensen, 1996.


Difference between fish cohort and no-fish cohort.

From: 3, Results

Cover of Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Intermediate Markers of Cardiovascular Disease
Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Intermediate Markers of Cardiovascular Disease.
Evidence Reports/Technology Assessments, No. 93.
Balk E, Chung M, Lichtenstein A, et al.

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