Cardio Round-up: Whither Omega-3s?; Smoking and Mortality Markers; and More

Another Blow to Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

This paper, published in the JAMA, reported the results of the STRENGTH study. STRENGTH was a double-blind, randomized trial that compared omega-3 carboxylic acid formulation of EPA and DHA with corn oil in a patient population of 13,078 statin-treated participants who had high cardiovascular risk, elevated triglycerides, and low HDL levels. Participants were randomized to either 4 g/day of omega-3 carboxylic acid (n=6,539) or corn oil (n=6,539) plus standard background therapy and statin treatment.  The primary endpoint occurred in 12.0% of patients in the omega-3 group vs. 12.2% in the corn oil arm (HR=0.99; 95% CI, 0.90 to 1.09; P=0.84). “These findings do not support use of this omega-3 fatty acid formulation to reduce major adverse cardiovascular events in high-risk patients,” researchers wrote.

STRENGTH: Omega-3 Fatty Acids Fail To Improve CV Outcomes

Even Former Smokers At Increased GDF-15 Risk

Researchers for this paper looked at a prospective cohort of 2,418 patients with suspected or known coronary artery disease. They measured GDF-15 levels in 955 never-smokers, 1,035 former smokers, and in 428 current smokers enrolled in the ANOX (Development of Novel Biomarkers Related to Angiogenesis or Oxidative Stress to Predict Cardiovascular Events) study. According to the results, never-smokers exhibited significantly lower levels of GDF-15 than former and current smokers. “This is the first, dedicated and large‐scale prospective cohort study to demonstrate that higher levels of GFD-15 are independently associated not only with current smoking, but also with former smoking, and that the prognostic value of GDF-15 on mortality is attenuated in current and former smokers with suspected or known coronary artery disease.,” the authors wrote in the paper.

Current, Former Smoking Status Linked with Mortality Marker

DOACs Show Anti-inflammatory Potential for DVT

In this study, the investigators evaluated the capability of direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) in reducing plasma levels of IL-6 in patients with DVT of the lower limbs, to assess the potential to reduce inflammation. Twenty patients hospitalized with lower limb DVT were enrolled. Patients received initial therapy with low-molecular-weight-heparins (LMWHs) for 5 days, followed by treatment with DOACs (Dabigatran 150 mg daily, Edoxaban 60 mg daily) from the 6th day onward. Results showed 2.8-fold reduction in IL-6 expression levels in DVT patients compared to controls (P<0.05). “Overall, we are confident that these observations will contribute to clarifying the potential role of DOACs against the high inflammatory activity that is greatly responsible for favoring hyper-coagulation and in determining the clinical outcomes for DVT patients,” the researchers wrote in their conclusion.

Direct Oral Anticoagulants Show Anti-Inflammatory Potential For Treatment Of DVT