Heart Failure Patients Benefit From n-3 PUFA Treatment

Left ventricular systolic function improves, rates of hospitalization decrease in chronic patients

THURSDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with chronic heart failure due to nonischemic dilated cardiomyopathy have improved left ventricular (LV) functionality after treatment with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) according to results from a study published online Jan. 5 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Savina Nodari, M.D., from the University of Brescia in Italy, and colleagues evaluated data from 133 patients with chronic heart failure. After a baseline echocardiogram and cardiopulmonary exercise testing, patients were randomly assigned to either a treatment group with 2 g n-3 PUFAs or to a placebo group.

After 12 months, the n-3 PUFA treatment group had a 10.4 percent increase in the LV ejection fraction compared with a 5 percent decrease in the placebo group. Exercise duration and peak VO2 increased in the n-3 PUFA group and decreased in the placebo group. The mean New York Heart Association functional class decreased in the treatment group and increased in the placebo group. Hospitalization rates for heart failure were 6 percent in the treatment group compared with 30 percent in the placebo group.

"The addition of n-3 PUFA 2 g daily for one year improves echocardiographic parameters of LV systolic and diastolic function, as well as functional capacity," the authors write.

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