Healthcare: On the Agenda - Review says fish oil helps hearts

In a nutshell

A study has found that people with chronic heart failure are less likely to die if they take fish oils. A review of the research by Martin Cowie, professor of cardiology at Imperial College London & Royal Brompton Hospital, was published by Healthcare Bulletin in The European Journal of Cardiovascular Medicine. The review suggested that fish oils could save 10,000 lives every year.

Why is it important?

About 700,000 people in Britain have the heart condition. Symptoms include breathlessness and fatigue. The typical age of first diagnosis in developed countries is the mid-seventies, with higher incidence among men. Estimates in the review suggest that one to two per cent of the population have heart failure.

How does fish oil work?

The fish oil used in the study of 7,000 people with chronic heart failure was a supplement containing 90 per cent omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid ethyl esters. Research suggests that fish oils help regulate heart rate and have an anti-inflammatory effect that relaxes blood vessels and reduces workload on the heart.

PR strategy

Healthcare Bulletin is an open access publisher that distributes scientific research to subscribers. A news bulletin was sent out highlighting the review.

Media coverage

The review was covered on 2 September in a range of media in the UK and abroad, including The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Marie Claire online and The Times of India.

1-2% - of the population suffer from heart failure

700k - people in Britain have the condition

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