Swiss researchers performed a meta-analysis of 97 clinical studies to compare the efficacy of fish oil, statins, fibrates, resins, niacin or diet alone on mortality rates compared to placebo. Significant risk reductions for overall mortality were observed with fish oil (23% reduction) and statins (13% risk reduction). For cardiovascular mortality, significant risk reductions were observed with fish oil (32% reduction), resins (30% risk reduction) and statins (22% risk reduction). The authors conclude that statins and fish oil offer the most favorable overall benefits by reducing the risk of both cardiac mortality and overall mortality. The greatest risk reduction was observed in the fish oil group.
Studer, Briel, et al. "Effect of Different Antilipidemic Agents and Diets on Mortality", ARCH Intern Med, April 11, 2005; Vol. 165, 725-730