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Am J Clin Nutr. 2001 Jul;74(1):50-6.

Effects of a high-dose concentrate of n-3 fatty acids or corn oil introduced early after an acute myocardial infarction on serum triacylglycerol and HDL cholesterol.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, the Division of Cardiology, the Central Hospital in Rogaland, Stavanger, Norway. dnilsen1@chello.no



Results of epidemiologic studies and clinical trials indicate that moderate doses of n-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and may improve prognosis.


The objective was to evaluate the effect of a high-dose ethylester concentrate of n-3 fatty acids administered early after an acute myocardial infarction (MI) on subsequent cardiac events and serum lipids.


Three hundred patients with acute MI were randomly assigned to a daily dose of either 4 g highly concentrated n-3 fatty acids or corn oil, administered in a double-blind manner over 12-24 mo. Median follow-up time was 1.5 y. Clinical follow-up, including the drawing of blood samples, was performed after 6 wk of treatment and later at 0.5-year intervals.


Forty-two (28%) patients in the n-3 group and 36 (24%) in the corn oil group experienced at least one cardiac event (cardiac death, resuscitation, recurrent MI, or unstable angina). No significant difference in prognosis was observed between groups for single or combined cardiac events. Total cholesterol concentrations decreased in both groups, with no significant intergroup differences. On average, the monthly increase in HDL cholesterol was 1.11% in the n-3 group and 0.55% in the corn oil group (P = 0.0016). Triacylglycerol concentrations decreased by 1.30%/mo in the n-3 group, whereas they increased by 0.35%/mo in the corn oil group (P < 0.0001).


No clinical benefit of a high-dose concentrate of n-3 fatty acids compared with corn oil was found despite a favorable effect on serum lipids.

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