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Fish oil for heart attack victims

23rd May 2007

Heart attack victims are to be prescribed fish oil supplements, it has been announced.

The supplement will be specifically aimed at those who have suffered an attack in the last three months.

If victims are not having at least two portions of oily fish each week, they will be advised to take omega 3 fatty acid tablets to reduce their risk of suffering another attack.

According to the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, the tablets reduce the risk of death by 45 per cent.

The institute expects that the pills will be prescribed to one in five patients.

Ellen Mason, a cardiac nurse from the British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: "This new recommendation to prescribe fish oil supplements for the first three months after a heart attack is specifically for people who cannot tolerate eating fish.

"The BHF recommends heart attack patients should try to eat two to four portions of oily fish a week including salmon, mackerel and sardines.

"There are other benefits to be gained from getting omega 3 this way as the fish is full of nutrients and low in saturated fat so overall it is more nutritious to eat fish than swallow a capsule."