Public Defence: Are Annesønn Kalstad Are Annesønn Kalstad at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis "The role of n-3 fatty acids in cardiovascular diseases of ageing" for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO

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Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.

Trial Lecture - time and place

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Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Research Professor Steen Dalby Kristensen, Aarhus University, Denmark
  • Second opponent: Professor Anette Hylen Ranhoff, University of Bergen
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Torgeir Bruun Wyller, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo

Chair of defence

Professor Torbjørn Omland, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal supervisor

Professor Emeritus Ingebjørg Seljeflot, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo


Ageing, a poorly understood biological process, is one of the most important risk factors for a majority of cardiac diseases. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have shown potential benefits in reducing the risk of these diseases. Biomarkers may increase the understanding of these processes and associations.

This thesis is based on the OMEMI trial, in which elderly patients having survived a recent myocardial infarction were randomized to receive an omega-3 supplement or placebo, in addition to modern therapy. The main trial results show no clinical cardiovascular benefit after two years. Potential harm by increased risk of atrial fibrillation cannot be ruled out. Cross-sectional sub studies at baseline show few associations between the ageing marker leukocyte telomere length and serum polyunsaturated fatty acids, diet, cardiovascular risk factors and features of MI. For atrial fibrillation, a negative association was found with the ageing marker SIRT-1, and a positive association with the remodeling marker sST2.

The results suggest that omega3 fatty acid supplements should be avoided in these patients. The importance of biomarkers of ageing and cardiac disease merits further study.

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Published Jan. 14, 2022 9:53 AM - Last modified Jan. 27, 2022 12:36 PM