Knowledge, Perceptions, and Patterns of Fish Oil Use in Cardiac Patients

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Abstract

Background: Fish oils are the most widely used nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements in the United States. They are not over-the-counter medications and are neither approved nor indicated for treating disease. Patient knowledge and patterns of fish oil use are not well defined. Objective: To determine cardiac patients’ knowledge and patterns of fish oil use. Methods: One thousand consecutive patients admitted to an in-patient cardiology service (2015-2017) taking fish oil dietary supplements or prescription omega-3 fatty acids were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire concerning product knowledge and use. Results: A total of 711 (71%) patients completed the questionnaire. Primary reasons for use included general health (34%), heart health (28%), arthritis (9%), and lipid disorders (8%). Few patients (14%) were advised to take fish oil products by a health-care provider. Only 2.5% were taking prescription omega-3 fatty acids. Only 26% knew the active ingredient in their fish oil product. Supplements were purchased through a nonpharmacy retail seller by 81% of respondents. Conclusions: Most cardiac patients consuming fish oil dietary supplements do so without medical supervision and without knowledge of the active ingredients. As most patients obtain supplements outside of a pharmacy, opportunities to monitor and educate patients remain a major challenge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Fish Oils
Dietary Supplements
Fish Products
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Prescriptions
Health
Cardiology
Health Personnel
Arthritis
Lipids

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this

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title = "Knowledge, Perceptions, and Patterns of Fish Oil Use in Cardiac Patients",
abstract = "Background: Fish oils are the most widely used nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements in the United States. They are not over-the-counter medications and are neither approved nor indicated for treating disease. Patient knowledge and patterns of fish oil use are not well defined. Objective: To determine cardiac patients’ knowledge and patterns of fish oil use. Methods: One thousand consecutive patients admitted to an in-patient cardiology service (2015-2017) taking fish oil dietary supplements or prescription omega-3 fatty acids were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire concerning product knowledge and use. Results: A total of 711 (71{\%}) patients completed the questionnaire. Primary reasons for use included general health (34{\%}), heart health (28{\%}), arthritis (9{\%}), and lipid disorders (8{\%}). Few patients (14{\%}) were advised to take fish oil products by a health-care provider. Only 2.5{\%} were taking prescription omega-3 fatty acids. Only 26{\%} knew the active ingredient in their fish oil product. Supplements were purchased through a nonpharmacy retail seller by 81{\%} of respondents. Conclusions: Most cardiac patients consuming fish oil dietary supplements do so without medical supervision and without knowledge of the active ingredients. As most patients obtain supplements outside of a pharmacy, opportunities to monitor and educate patients remain a major challenge.",
author = "Hilleman, {Daniel E.} and Robyn Teply and Packard, {Kathleen A.}",
year = "2019",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0897190018824485",
language = "English (US)",
journal = "Journal of Pharmacy Practice",
issn = "0897-1900",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",

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AU - Hilleman, Daniel E.

AU - Teply, Robyn

AU - Packard, Kathleen A.

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Y1 - 2019/1/1

N2 - Background: Fish oils are the most widely used nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements in the United States. They are not over-the-counter medications and are neither approved nor indicated for treating disease. Patient knowledge and patterns of fish oil use are not well defined. Objective: To determine cardiac patients’ knowledge and patterns of fish oil use. Methods: One thousand consecutive patients admitted to an in-patient cardiology service (2015-2017) taking fish oil dietary supplements or prescription omega-3 fatty acids were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire concerning product knowledge and use. Results: A total of 711 (71%) patients completed the questionnaire. Primary reasons for use included general health (34%), heart health (28%), arthritis (9%), and lipid disorders (8%). Few patients (14%) were advised to take fish oil products by a health-care provider. Only 2.5% were taking prescription omega-3 fatty acids. Only 26% knew the active ingredient in their fish oil product. Supplements were purchased through a nonpharmacy retail seller by 81% of respondents. Conclusions: Most cardiac patients consuming fish oil dietary supplements do so without medical supervision and without knowledge of the active ingredients. As most patients obtain supplements outside of a pharmacy, opportunities to monitor and educate patients remain a major challenge.

AB - Background: Fish oils are the most widely used nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements in the United States. They are not over-the-counter medications and are neither approved nor indicated for treating disease. Patient knowledge and patterns of fish oil use are not well defined. Objective: To determine cardiac patients’ knowledge and patterns of fish oil use. Methods: One thousand consecutive patients admitted to an in-patient cardiology service (2015-2017) taking fish oil dietary supplements or prescription omega-3 fatty acids were asked to complete an anonymous questionnaire concerning product knowledge and use. Results: A total of 711 (71%) patients completed the questionnaire. Primary reasons for use included general health (34%), heart health (28%), arthritis (9%), and lipid disorders (8%). Few patients (14%) were advised to take fish oil products by a health-care provider. Only 2.5% were taking prescription omega-3 fatty acids. Only 26% knew the active ingredient in their fish oil product. Supplements were purchased through a nonpharmacy retail seller by 81% of respondents. Conclusions: Most cardiac patients consuming fish oil dietary supplements do so without medical supervision and without knowledge of the active ingredients. As most patients obtain supplements outside of a pharmacy, opportunities to monitor and educate patients remain a major challenge.

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