Get access

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS AND HYPERTENSION IN HUMANS

Authors

  • Trevor A Mori

    1. School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Royal Perth Hospital Unit, University of Western Australia and the Cardiovascular Research Centre, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Presented at a symposium in honour of Lawrie Beilin held in conjunction with the High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting, Melbourne, 6–7 December 2005. The papers in these proceedings have been peer reviewed.

Dr Trevor A Mori, School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, Medical Research Foundation Building, PO Box X2213, Perth, WA 6847, Australia. Email: trevor.mori@uwa.edu.au

SUMMARY

  • 1Population studies and clinical trials provide compelling evidence that omega-3 (w3) fatty acids have cardioprotective effects. The strongest evidence is from DART and GISSI-P, two secondary prevention trials in patients with previous myocardial infarctions. Data from these trials support a reduction in ventricular fibrillation as a primary mechanism for the decreased incidence of myocardial infarction.
  • 2Evidence suggests that w3 fatty acids may also provide protection against stroke, particularly ischaemic stroke.
  • 3The cardioprotective effects of w3 fatty acids relate to improvements in blood pressure, cardiac function, arterial compliance and vascular function, as well as improved lipid metabolism, antiplatelet and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • 4Clinical trials in humans have shown that eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) have different haemodynamic properties. Docosahexaenoic acid may be more favourable in lowering blood pressure and heart rate, as well as improving vascular function. However, the effects of EPA and DHA may also differ depending on the target population.

Ancillary