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Fish oil supplements do not prevent heart attacks or strokes in patients with diabetes, according to late breaking results from the ASCEND trial presented today in a Hot Line Session at ESC Congress 2018 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ascend Trial - Fish Oils.png

Professor Louise Bowman, CTSU, discusses the trial

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

The ASCEND trial (A Study of Cardiovascular Events iN Diabetes) examined whether fish oil supplements reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event in patients with diabetes. Between 2005 and 2011, 15,480 patients with diabetes but no history of cardiovascular disease were randomly assigned to fish oil supplementation (1 g daily) or matching placebo. 

Find out more (Nuffield Department of Population Health website)

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