A new meta-analysis published in Clinical Nutrition found that cardiac surgery patients who received omega-3s (compared to placebo) in advance of surgery experienced reduced postoperative cardiac arrhythmias and significantly reduced the length of hospital stay by up to 2.4 days. The results are based on 11 RCT’s with 1038 patients.
This study implies a reduction in hospital utilization and overall healthcare costs, and supports an existing body of research demonstrating the heart health benefits of omega-3s. The reduced length of hospital stay in this study was likely associated with the tendency of the omega-3 group to experience a reduction in postoperative atrial fibrillation, according to the authors. The exact mechanism associated with this benefit is unknown, but it is widely believed to be due to the omega-3s’ anti-inflammatory and anti-arrhythmic properties.