OSLO, NORWAY. A group of Norwegian medical researchers reports that fish oil supplementation does not increase the bleeding tendency in heart disease patients receiving aspirin or warfarin. The study involved 511 patients who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery. On the second day after the operation half the patients were assigned in a random fashion to receive 4 grams of fish oil per day (providing 2 g/day of eicosapentaenoic acid, 1.3 g/day of docosahexaenoic acid, and 14.8 mg/day of vitamin E). At the same time the patients were also randomized to receive either 300 mg of aspirin per day or warfarin aimed at achieving an INR of 2.5-4.2. The patients were evaluated every 3 months and questioned about bleeding episodes for the duration of the 9-month study.
SOUTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM. Atherosclerosis increases the risk of stroke and heart attack because part of the atherosclerotic buildup (plaque) on the inner wall of arteries may dislodge and block smaller arteries in the brain and heart respectively and thus cut off the vital supply of oxygenated blood. Depending on its tendency to break loose from the artery wall plaque is classified as either stable or unstable with the stable form being the least likely to cause problems.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. A 1995 study concluded that men who ate fish five or more times per week had a 40 per cent lower risk of having a stroke than did men who ate fish less than once a week. Researchers at the Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women's Hospital now report that the benefits of fish consumption are even more spectacular for women.