omega 3 benefits heart health

The Association Between Dietary Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Death 

Author Information

Angela s koh. Aan pan, Andrew odegaard, mark a pereira jin-minh yuan woon puay koh

  • Duke University graduate medical school
  • University of Minnesota school of public health
  • University of Pittsburgh cancer institute and graduate school of public health
  • National Heart Center Singapore Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine


Although studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids intake may reduce cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality risk, few studies have differentiated dietary eicosapentaenoic/docosahexaenoic acid (EPA/DHA) from alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), 


The Singapore Chinese Health Study is a population-based cohort that recruited 63,257 Chinese adults aged 45-74 years from 1993 to 1998. Usual diet was measured at recruitment using a validated semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire, and mortality information was identified via registry linkage up to 31 December 2011. Cox proportional hazard models were used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) with adjustment for potential confounders. We documented 4,780 total cardiovascular deaths (including 2,697 coronary heart disease [CHD] deaths and 1,298 stroke deaths) during 890,473 person-years of follow-up. Omega-3 fatty acids intake was monotonically associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality. Compared to the lowest quartile, the HR [95% confidence interval (CI)] was 0.88 (0.81-0.96), 0.88 (0.80-0.97), and 0.83 (0.74-0.92) for the second, third and highest quartile, respectively (P-trend=0.003). Both EPA/DHA and ALA were independently associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality: the HR (95% CI) comparing extreme quartiles was 0.86 (0.77-0.96; P-trend=0.002) and 0.81 (0.73-0.90; P-trend<0.001), respectively. The associations were similar for deaths from coronary heart disease and stroke, and persisted in participants who were free of CVD at baseline


Higher relative intake of both marine (EPA/DHA) and plant (ALA) omega-3 fatty acids are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality

Clinical studiesClinical studyOmega 3

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