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WASHINGTON — Adults older than 55 years with heart disease would realize individual healthcare savings if they supplemented with omega-3 dietary supplements, according to a report released Tuesday titled "Smart Prevention-Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements.”
According to the report, nearly $4 billion in cumulative net CHD-attributed cost savings from 2013 to 2020 is potentially realizable if the entire targeted population (U.S. adults older than 55 years diagnosed with CHD) were to use omega-3 dietary supplements at preventive intake levels. This is the equivalent of more than one million hospital events avoided in the next seven years, the report stated. Additionally, the report identified that only 28% of the targeted population currently takes omega-3 supplements.
“Our country is faced with a serious problem when it comes to sick-care and rising healthcare costs,” said Steve Mister, president of the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation. “Taking dietary supplements, such as omega-3s, is not a magic bullet by any means, but it’s one preventive measure that should be considered along with eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly to potentially help maintain a healthy heart. Given the costs of treating medical events that result from CHD, simple steps like this can help reduce healthcare costs, too.”
Omega-3s are the third most popular dietary supplement among U.S. adults ages 55 years and older, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition. The supplement's essential role in the diet is recognized by such authoritative bodies as the American Heart Association, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, all of which have current policies advising Americans to eat more fatty fish to get the benefits of omega-3 fish oils.
“Unfortunately most Americans are not eating enough fatty fish to reap the full benefits of omega-3s,” said Duffy MacKay, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs CRN. “So omega-3 supplementation is a viable option, especially for anyone who doesn’t eat fatty fish, like salmon and sardines, regularly. Omega-3s help lower triglycerides and support healthy blood flow-two factors which play a role in coronary heart disease.”
The report was created by Frost & Sullivan through a grant from the CRNF.