In order to bring you the best possible user experience, this site uses Javascript. If you are seeing this message, it is likely that the Javascript option in your browser is disabled. For optimal viewing of this site, please ensure that Javascript is enabled for your browser.
Did you know that your browser is out of date? To get the best experience using our website we recommend that you upgrade to a newer version. Learn more.

We use cookies to optimise the design of this website and make continuous improvement. By continuing your visit, you consent to the use of cookies. Learn more

Effects of n-3 PUFA in patients with symptomatic chronic heart failure: the GISSI-HF results.

Hot Line I

Heart Failure (HF)

Presenter report:

Tavazzi, Luigi (Italy)


Background. Several epidemiological and experimental studies suggest that n-3 PUFA can exert favorable effects on atherothrombotic cardiovascular disease including arrhythmias. We investigated whether n-3 PUFA could improve morbidity and mortality in a large population of patients with symptomatic heart failure of any cause.

Methods. We undertook a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial in 357 cardiology sites in Italy. We enrolled 6975 patients with chronic heart failure of New York Heart Association class II-IV, assigned to n-3 PUFA 1 g daily or placebo. Patients were followed up for a median of 3·9 years. Primary end-points were time to death and time to death or admission to hospital for cardiovascular reasons. Analysis was by intention-to-treat population.

Findings. 955 (27%) patients died from any cause in the n-3 PUFA group and 1014 (29%) in the placebo group (relative risk reduction 9%, p=0·041). 1981 (57%) patients in the n-3 PUFA group and 2053 (59%) in the placebo group died or were admitted to hospital for cardiovascular reasons (relative risk reduction 8%, p=0·009). In absolute terms, 56 patients needed to be treated for 3.9 years to avoid one death or 44 to avoid one event like death or admission to hospital for cardiovascular reasons. In a per-protocol analysis performed in about 5000 full complier patients, the relative risk of death was reduced by 14% (p 0.004). Safety was excellent. Interpretation.A simple, safe  and cheap treatment with n-3 PUFA can provide a moderate beneficial advantage in terms of mortality and admission to hospital for cardiovascular reasons in patients with  chronic heart failure in a context of usual care.

  • GISSI is endorsed by:  Associazione Nazionale Medici Cardiologi Ospedalieri (ANMCO), Firenze, Italy; Ist.Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, Milan, Italy; Consorzio Mario Negri Sud, Santa Maria Imbaro, Italy.
  • The GISSI-HF trial was planned, conducted and analyzed by the GISSI group which has full ownership of the data.
  • SPA, Pfizer, Sigma Tau and AstraZeneca concurred to fund the study.

This study is registered with Clinical, number: NCT00336336.

Discussant: Komajda, Michel (Italy)

View the Official Press Release - Effects of n-3 PUFA in Patients With Symptomatic Chronic Heart Failure - Hot Line 1





Hot Line Update I

Notes to editor

This congress report accompanies a presentation given at the ESC Congress 2008. Written by the author himself/herself, this report does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Society of Cardiology.

The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.