Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation in patients with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) comorbid major depressive disorder (MDD)

Jane Pei-Chen Chang MD, MSc1,2,3, Shih-Sheng Chang MD, MSc4, Hui-Ting Chen, BA2,3,Kuan-Pin Su MD, PhD1,2,3


1Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, London, UK

2Department of Psychiatry & Mind-Body Interface Laboratory (MBI-Lab), China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, TAIWAN

3Graduate Institute of Neural and Cognitive Sciences, China Medical University, Taichung, TAIWAN

4Department of Cardiology, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, TAIWAN



Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and depression have high comorbidity. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) have been reported to reduce depression severity and improve cardiovascular outcomes. Hence, this study is aimed to investigate effects of n-3 PUFAs in patients with CVDs comorbid major depressive disorder (MDD).



We have conducted a 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial investigating the efficacy of n-3 PUFAs (3g eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)) in MDD occurring in patients with CVDs. A total of 66, age 20-80 years old, patients consented to participate and were randomized to the study, where half received n-3 PUFAs and the other half received placebo. The patients were assessed for depression symptom severity with Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HRDS) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), respectively at 6 time points (weeks 0, 1, 2, 4, 8, 12).



Sixty- one patients completed the study, with 29 allocated to the placebo group and 32 allocated to the n-3 PUFAs group. N-3 PUFAs group had lower scores of HDRS Core (p=.02, p=.03), Anxiety (p=.02) and Somatic (p=.02) subscale scores at 8th and 12th week.



N-3 PUFAs when compared to placebo had greater improvement on depressive and anxiety in patients with CVDs comorbid MDD.