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Atherosclerosis. 2013 Feb;226(2):328-34. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2012.10.056. Epub 2012 Nov 2.

Influence of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid-supplementation on platelet aggregation in humans: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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1
Department of Geriatric Cardiology, General Hospital of Chinese People's Liberation Army, 28 Fuxing Road, Beijing 100853, China.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Increased platelet activity predicts adverse cardiovascular events. The objective was to assess the effects of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA)-supplementation on platelet aggregation.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials identified using PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library. Fifteen studies were included. In comparison to placebo using the random-effect model, n-3 PUFA-supplementation significantly reduced adenosine diphosphate-induced platelet aggregation (standard mean difference [SMD] = -1.23 with 95% confidence interval [CI] -2.24 to -0.23, p = 0.02) and platelet aggregation units, determined using the VerifyNow(®) rapid platelet-function assay system (SMD = -6.78 with 95% CI -12.58 to -0.98, p = 0.02). There was a trend toward decreased collagen-induced (SMD = -0.70 with 95% CI -0.72 to 0.33, p = 0.18) and arachidonic acid-induced platelet aggregation (SMD = -0.43 with 95% CI -2.26 to 1.40, p = 0.64) compared with controls; however, statistical significance was not reached.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our meta-analysis demonstrates that n-3 PUFA-supplementation is associated with a significant reduction in platelet aggregation when the participants were at poor health status, but not in healthy persons. High-risk patients with cardiovascular disease and even diabetics may potentially benefit from n-3 PUFAs therapy. However, n-3 PUFAs may not be effective in primary prevention. Larger trials need to be carried out to confirm the present findings.

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