Study: Vitamin D, fish oil don't lower atrial fibrillation risk

November 13, 2020

LOS ANGELES (Nov. 13, 2020) -- New research presented today at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions suggests neither vitamin D nor the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil prevent the development of atrial fibrillation, a potentially serious heart rhythm disturbance.

"Our trial results do not support taking fish oil or vitamin D supplements to prevent atrial fibrillation," said Christine M. Albert, MD, MPH, the study's lead author and chair of the Department of Cardiology in the Smidt Heart Institute, who presented the research at the late-breaking science session. "However, these supplements also did not elevate the risk of atrial fibrillation, which is good news for individuals taking them for other health conditions."

Past data from observational studies have been conflicting, leaving both patients and clinicians uncertain on recommendations regarding prevention of atrial fibrillation with these supplements.

"This is the first large-scale trial that led us to a definitive result," said Albert.

Results are based on a randomized clinical trial involving more than 25,000 men and women from all over the United States without a history of atrial fibrillation. During a more than five-year period, 900, or 3.6%, of participants were diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.

There were no statistically significant differences between the participants who were assigned to take vitamin D or fish oil supplements and the participants who were assigned to take a placebo.

Atrial fibrillation, or AF, is the most common type of abnormal heart rhythm, causing the heart to contract irregularly and, sometimes, too quickly. It is estimated to affect 33 million people worldwide.

The condition can lead to clotting inside the atrium chamber of the heart and clots can then travel from the heart to the brain, causing a stroke. Atrial fibrillation can also lead to weakening of the bottom chamber of the heart, resulting in fluid buildup or heart failure. Importantly, it often results in significant symptoms that can adversely affect one's quality of life.

While this research is important in educating patients about effective preventive measures, Albert emphasizes the need for more research directed at avoiding the condition.

"Although these two supplements do not prevent atrial fibrillation, recent studies have suggested that lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood pressure, and moderating alcohol intake may lower risk of atrial fibrillation," said Albert. "We need to continue to educate the public on ways to lower their risk as well as search for new ways to prevent this condition."
Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog:
Understanding Vitamin D Deficiency.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Related Atrial Fibrillation Articles from Brightsurf:

Atrial fibrillation less deadly than it used to be, but still cause for concern: BU study
A first-of-its-kind study by researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) shows a decline in deaths related to atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) over the last 45 years.

Postoperative atrial fibrillation does not impact on overall survival after esophagectomy
Volume 11, Issue 25 of Oncotarget reported that Administration of landiolol hydrochloride was found to be associated with reduced incidence of atrial fibrillation after esophagectomy for esophageal cancer in our previous randomized controlled trial.

People with atrial fibrillation live longer with exercise
More than 100,000 Norwegians have atrial fibrillation. They should be actively exercising for their health.

Atrial fibrillation among overweight people is not due to fat
In a recently published study, researchers from Aarhus University document that the risk of atrial fibrillation is not linked to the amount of body fat, but instead to large muscle mass, or more precisely, a high fat-free weight

Eating more protein could help ward off atrial fibrillation in women
Women who ate slightly more than the recommended daily amount of protein were significantly less likely to develop atrial fibrillation (AFib), a dangerous heart rhythm disorder that can lead to stroke and heart failure, when compared with those who consumed less protein, according to research being presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session Together with World Congress of Cardiology (ACC.20/WCC).

Zebrafish teach researchers more about atrial fibrillation
Genetic research in zebrafish at the University of Copenhagen has surprised the researchers behind the study.

Personalized medicine for atrial fibrillation
The study, published in Europace, uses signals from implantable devices -- pacemakers and defibrillators -- to analyze electrical signals in the heart during episodes of atrial fibrillation.

Prescribing anticoagulants in the ED for atrial fibrillation increases long-term use by 30%
Patients prescribed anticoagulants after a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation in the emergency department are more likely to continue long-term use of medications to treat the condition, according to research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Anticoagulant benefits for atrial fibrillation decrease with age
The net clinical benefit of anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation (AF) -- one of the most important causes of irregular heartbeats and a leading cause of stroke -- decreases with age, as the risk of death from other factors diminishes their benefit in older patients, according to a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

Research improves understanding of mechanism of atrial fibrillation
Mouse model studies show that noncoding DNA regions linked to atrial fibrillation risk can display long-range regulatory functions directed at Pitx2 gene and in this way predispose to the condition.

Read More: Atrial Fibrillation News and Atrial Fibrillation Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to