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Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2011 Nov;96(1-4):94-8. doi: 10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2011.06.008. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

The Omega-3 Index as a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

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Preventive Cardiology, Medizinische Klinik and Poliklinik Innenstadt, Ludwig Maximilians-University Munich, Ziemssenstr. 1, 80336 Munich, Germany.


The Omega-3 Index has been defined as eicosapentaenoic plus docosahexaenoic acids in erythrocytes. Integral part of the definition is a standardized analytical procedure, which conforms to the standards of Clinical Chemistry. This resulted in more than 90 collaborative research projects, concluded and ongoing, and 64 publications so far. The Omega-3 Index is emerging as a risk factor for fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events. This standardized analysis of fatty acid patterns adds incremental information to standard risk factor algorithms, and it correctly reclassifies persons from intermediate to high or low risk. Circumstantial evidence indicates that determining the Omega-3 Index has a therapeutic consequence. Thus, the Omega-3 Index fulfils important criteria for novel biomarkers, set forth by the American Heart Association and others, and compares well to other novel biomarkers. Future results will add precision to the value of the Omega-3 Index in cardiology, and probably expand its application to other areas, like psychiatry and pregnancy.

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