Among lipid clinic patients, actual EPA+DHA supplement intake was <50% of prescribed dosage, according to the first study to look at the association.
The potential cardiovascular benefits of dietary supplementation with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a topic of ongoing discussion. But a new study suggests that about half those taking EPA + DHA in a real-world setting may never appreciate a benefit.Click through this at-a-glance study review to find out why.
Fish Oil Supplementation: Taken as Prescribed? EPA and DHA supplementation is often used along with other preventive measures to reduce CV risk but there is significant variability in fish oil products available and in patient comprehension of dosing. Are patients getting what you prescribe?
First Study to Compare Prescribed vs Actual EPA + DHA Intake. Participants were recruited from a lipid specialty clinic and randomly selected to complete a 28-item survey; analysis compared self-reported, actual, and prescribed intake of EPA + DHA.
Self-Reported and Actual Dose Lower than Prescribed. Only one-third of patients were taking a dose within 20% of amount prescribed and actual intake was less than half that of the prescribed dose. Actual and self-reported intake were similar.
Low Patient Confidence about Dosage. Despite attendance and education at a specialty clinic, less than one-third of subjects were confident about recall of their supplement dose and noted several areas of confusion about dosage and product labeling.
Ongoing Patient Education Needed. Prescriber follow-up is necessary to ensure patient has purchased the intended product and is taking an accurate dose. Manufacturers can help by making labels more specific and legible.
Take Home Points
Source: Backes JM, Melton BL, Ruisinger JF, et al. Comparing patients’ prescribed, self-reported, and actualy intake of supplemental eicosapentaenoic acid + docosahexaenoic acid. J Clin Lipidol. In Press. Published online Nov 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacl.2018.11.005