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Omega 3 Fatty Acids Webinar

presented by Dr. William Harris live on November 1, 2012

Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease: Biomarkers and Interventions

Evidence for the beneficial cardiovascular effects of EPA and DHA, the two “fish oil” omega-3 fatty acids, continues to mature.  Biomarkers of omega-3 intake, whether measured in plasma, whole blood, or RBCs, have been tied to reduced risk for CV events, both in Western and Japanese populations.

Recent data from our lab indicates that, in patients with coronary heart disease, the blood EPA+DHA level (the Omega-3 Index) is a predictor of all cause mortality independent of lipids and inflammatory markers. Four randomized controlled trials with hard CV endpoints have confirmed that raising omega-3 levels by supplementation or eating more oily fish reduce event rates, even total mortality.

Risk for sudden cardiac death appears to be particularly related to omega-3 biostatus.  As the Omega-3 Index becomes accepted as a bona fide CV risk factor, standardized laboratory assessment of this marker will become more widely available for clinical risk prediction and for monitoring compliance with omega-3 prescriptions.

Log on to DrOPsite to view the archived webinar.

Biography Dr. William Harris, PhD.

Over the last 32 years, Dr. Harris' research has focused primarily on omega-3 fatty acids and cardiovascular disease. He currently has over 100 omega-3 related publications and was a co-author of the American Heart Association’s 2002 scientific statement, "Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease" published in the journal Circulation.  More recently Dr. Harris has begun to evaluate the “omega-3 index” (erythrocyte EPA+DHA) as a possible new risk factor for cardiovascular (and perhaps neurocognitive) disorders.

In 2009, Dr. Harris founded a company (OmegaQuant, LLC) to offer this new blood test to the research community, and in 2011, a major clinical laboratory (Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc.; HDL; Richmond, VA) acquired the omega-3 index technology and is offering it to physicians. Dr. Harris has joined HDL as a Senior Scientist, and he currently lives in Sioux Falls where he continues to conduct fatty acid research.

Dr. William Harris holds a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of Minnesota, and did post-doctoral research at the Oregon Health Sciences University.  He was Director of the Lipid Research Laboratories at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC) and at the Mid America Heart Institute, both in Kansas City, MO, for 22 years, and was on the faculty at KUMC and at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. Between 2006 and 2011 was the Director of the Cardiovascular Health Research Center at Sanford Research/USD (Sioux Falls, SD). He is currently a Research Professor of Medicine at the Sanford School of Medicine, University of South Dakota in Sioux Falls.