The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Omega-3 for heart failure

    ├é┬áResearchers from across Italy, the GISSI (Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Streptochinasi nell’Infarto Miocardico) investigators, report that omega-3 fatty acids improved morbidity and mortality in patients with symptomatic heart failure.

    First, the details.

    • More than 6500 patients with chronic heart failure participated in the study.
      • They had mild to severe heart failure based on New York Heart Association classification.
    • The patients were randomly assigned to take omega-3 fatty acids (1 gram daily) or placebo and followed for about 4 years.
    • Neither the patients nor researchers knew the treatment given — double blind.

    And, the results.

    • 27% of the omega-3 patients and 29% in the placebo group died — a significant difference.
    • 57% of the omega-3 patients and 59% of the placebo group died or were admitted to a hospital for cardiovascular reasons — a significant difference.
    • In both groups, gastrointestinal disorders were the most frequent adverse reaction — 3 in each group.

    The bottom line?

    The reserchers calculated that 56 patients needed to be treated for 4 years to avoid one death or 44 to avoid one event like death or admission to [the] hospital for cardiovascular reasons.

    They concluded, “A simple and safe treatment with omega-3 fatty acids can provide a small beneficial advantage in terms of mortality and admission to hospital for cardiovascular reasons in patients with heart failure in a context of usual care.”

    A second study of rosuvastatin (Crestor) in similar patients by the same researchers showed no advantage.

    9/3/08 18:06 JR

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