Hemodialysis patients are at high risk for sudden cardiac death, and they are at the highest risk during the first year of treatment. Given those grim facts, researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine set out to discover whether heart-protective Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil, walnuts and other foods, could be beneficial for dialysis patients.
Allon N. Friedman, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Nephrology at IU said, “We found that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in the blood of patients who were just starting hemodialysis were very strongly associated with a lower risk of sudden cardiac death over the first year of their treatment.”
More studies are needed, but the finding paves the way for strategies to prevent sudden cardiac death in dialysis patients. The research could also lead to new dietary recommendations for this patient population.
Science Daily, Fish Oil May Protect Dialysis Patients from Sudden Cardiac Death, February 6, 2013