Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids decrease the risk of deadly rhythm disturbances in heart attack survivors
A ventricular ectopic beat (VET) is an extra heartbeat
originating in the lower chamber of the heart. This beat, also called a
premature ventricular contraction, is an extra beat that occurs before
the beat triggered by the heart's normal function.
Ventricular ectopic beats are common and often do not
indicate a problem in people without heart disease. However, if a
person has aortic stenosis, heart failure, or suffered from a previous
heart attack, a ventricular ectopic beat can trigger ventricular
tachycardia (an abnormally rapid beat of the lower heart chamber) and
fibrillation (rapid, irregular, and unsynchronized contraction of the
muscle fibers of the heart), which can lead to sudden death.
In this newly published study researchers from Dike
University in Durham, North Carolina, examined the relationship between
eating fish and the risk of VET in 260 patients who had suffered with
an acute myocardial infarct (sudden, dangerous heart attack). The
intake of fish oils or vegetarian (flaxseed type) omega 3 fatty acids
decreased the risk of VET. The study is published in the May 1st, 2009
issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.