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n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids reduced mortality and morbidity after recent myocardial infarction

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 QUESTION: In patients with recent myocardial infarction (MI), are n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and vitamin E, singly or in combination, effective for reducing morbidity and mortality?


Randomised (allocation concealed*), blinded (outcome assessors),* controlled trial with 42 month follow-up.


Centres in Italy.


11 324 patients (51% ⩽60 y of age, 85% men) with recent MI (within previous 3 mo) who had no contraindications to the study dietary supplements and no conditions with unfavorable short-term prognoses. Follow-up was 99.9%.


Patients were allocated to n-3 PUFAs (n=2836), vitamin E (n=2830), n-3 PUFAs and vitamin E (n=2830), or no supplement (n=2828). n-3 PUFA was given in 1 gelatin capsule containing eicosa-pentaenoic acid, 850–882 …

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  • Sources of funding: Bristol-Myers Squibb; Pfizer; Pharmacia-Upjohn; Società Proditti Antibiotici.

  • For correspondence: Dr R Marchioli, GISSI-Prevenzione Coordinating Centre, Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Via Nazionale, 66030 Santa Maria Imbaro, Italy. FAX +39-0872-578240.

  • * See glossary.

  • p value calculated from data in article.