Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fish oil outperforms statins in heart failure study??

This is quite amazing misreporting. The study in fact shows that NEITHER statins NOR fish oil had any effect. Both gave results which were as close to placebo as you would ever normally get. So when the Omega 3 religion gets a double blind test, it is shown to be useless. Shock, Horror! We can't have that!

Fish oil supplements may work slightly better than a popular cholesterol-reducing drug to help patients with chronic heart failure, according to new research released Sunday. Chronic heart failure is a condition that occurs when the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood efficiently through the body. With few effective options for heart failure patients, the findings could give patients a potential new treatment and could change the dietary recommendations for them, said Dr. Jose Gonzalez Juanatey, a spokesman for the European Society of Cardiology, who was not connected to the research. "This reinforces the idea that treating patients with heart failure takes more than just drugs," Juanatey said.

The study findings were published online in the medical journal The Lancet on Sunday. They were simultaneously announced at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Munich. "With a lot of these patients, you have no other choice," said Dr. Helmut Gohlke, a cardiologist at the Heart Center in Bad Krozingen, Germany. "They've tried other treatments and are at the end of the road."

Italian researchers gave nearly 3,500 patients a daily omega-3 pill, a prescription-formulation pill derived from fish oils, produced by Norway's Pronova BioPharma. But doctors said people should get the same benefits from taking cheaper options like fish oil supplements - or just eating more oily fish like salmon. Roughly the same number of patients were given placebo pills. Patients were followed for an average of four years.

In the group of patients taking the fish oil pills, 1,981 died of heart failure or were admitted to the hospital with the problem. In the patients on placebo pills, 2,053 died or were admitted to the hospital for heart failure. [Negligible difference, in other words]

In a parallel study, the same team of Italian doctors gave 2,285 patients the drug rosuvastatin, also known as Crestor, and gave placebo pills to 2,289 people. Patients were then tracked for about four years. The doctors found little difference in heart failure rates between the two groups.

Comparing the results from both studies, the researchers concluded that fish oil is slightly more effective than the drug because the oil performed better against a placebo than did Crestor. "It's a small benefit, but we should always be emphasizing to patients what they can do in terms of diet that might help," said Dr. Richard Bonow, chief of cardiology at Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago and past president of the American Heart Association. Both studies were paid for by an Italian group of pharmaceuticals including Pfizer, Sigma Tau and AstraZeneca.

Previous studies that investigated the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids have largely been observational, and have lacked a direct comparison to a placebo. It has also been unknown whether taking fish oil supplements would be as good as eating fish. "This study changes the certainty of the evidence we have about fish oils," said Dr. Douglas Weaver, president of the American College of Cardiology. Weaver said that guidelines in the United States would probably change to recommend that more heart patients eat more fish or take supplements. "This is a low-tech solution," he said, "and could help all patients with cardiovascular problems."

Source. Fuller details here.

Coffee may lower cancer risk

More epidemiogical crap. The big coffee drinkers were presumably more Westernized and many aspects of that could have been responsible for the differences observed

WOMEN who drink a lot of coffee may have less risk of developing cancer of the uterus, a Japanese study said today. The study led by Japan's health ministry monitored some 54,000 women aged 40 to 69 over about 15 years, during which time 117 women developed cancer in the womb, according to the medical team.

The researchers at Japan's National Cancer Center divided the women into four groups by the amount of coffee they drank. They found the group of women who drank more than three cups of coffee every day were more than 60 per cent less likely to develop uterine cancer than those who had coffee fewer than two times a week, the study said. "Coffee may have effects in lowering insulin levels, possibly curbing the risks of developing womb cancer," the study said.

The medical team also studied the effects of drinking green tea, but did not find any link to uterine cancer. According to the US Centres for Disease Control, uterine cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women.


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