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Fish oils don’t prevent strokes in diabetes patients

Gorkha Post

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Fish oil supplements do not prevent heart attacks or strokes in patients with diabetes, according to recent study results from the ASCEND (A Study of Cardiovascular Events in Diabetes) trial presented in a Hot Line Session at ESC Congress 2018 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The ASCEND trial examined whether fish oil supplements reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event in patients with diabetes.

In observational studies, higher consumption of fish is associated with lower risks of coronary artery disease and stroke. However, previous trials have not been able to show that taking fish oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of having cardiovascular events.

During an average of 7.4 years of follow-up, a first serious vascular event occurred in 689 (8.9%) participants allocated fish oil supplements and 712 (9.2%) participants allocated placebo.

There was no significant difference between the two groups.

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The primary efficacy outcome was the first serious vascular event, which included non-fatal heart attacks, non-fatal strokes or transient ischemic attacks (sometimes called “mini-strokes”), or deaths from a cardiovascular cause.

Principal investigator, Dr. Louise Bowman, said, “Our large, long-term randomised trial shows that fish oil supplements do not reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes.

This is a disappointing finding, but it is in line with previous randomised trials in other types of patient at increased risk of cardiovascular events which also showed no benefit of fish oil supplements.”

“There is no justification for recommending fish oil supplements to protect against cardiovascular events,” he added.

Agencies

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Sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time : Study

Raghu Kshitiz

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A new study has showed that sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time, challenging previous claims that weekday mornings — especially Mondays — were the danger zones.

Previously heart experts have long believed that weekday mornings were the danger zones for unexpected deaths from sudden cardiac arrests.

“While there are likely several reasons to explain why more cardiac arrests happen outside of previously identified peak times, stress is likely a major factor,” said Sumeet Chugh, a Professor of medicine from the Smidt Heart Institute in the US.

“We now live in a fast-paced, ‘always on’ era that causes increased psycho-social stress and possibly an increase in the likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest,” Chugh added.

Almost 17 million cardiac deaths occur annually worldwide while the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is less than one per cent.

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For the study, published in the journal Heart Rhythm, Chugh’s team analysed data on 1,535 from the community-based Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study between 2004 to 2014, among which only 13.9 per cent died in the early morning hours, the findings revealed.

All reported cases were based on emergency medical service reports containing detailed information regarding the cause of the cardiac arrest.

“Because sudden cardiac arrest is usually fatal, we have to prevent it before it strikes,” Chugh said. “Our next steps are to conclusively determine the underlying reasons behind this shift, then identify public health implications as a result,” he added.

Apart from stress, other contributing factors may be a shift in how high-risk patients are being treated, as well as inadequacies in how past studies have measured time of death caused by sudden cardiac arrest.

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