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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effects of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid on lipoproteins in hypertriglyceridemia.

  • Author(s): Patel, Amish A
  • Budoff, Matthew J
  • et al.

The treatment of hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) with ω-3 fatty acid preparations adds a novel therapy to reduce cardiovascular disease. This review examines the effects of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid on lipoproteins and the cardioprotective effects in HTG.The evidence that ω-3 fatty acid therapy at prescription strength is effective and safe at lowering triglyceride levels is growing. Although EPA/docosahexaenoic acid formulations did lower triglyceride levels, an increase in low-density lipoproteins was observed and outcome data were mixed. More recent trials have shown that decreased levels of low-density lipoprotein can be achieved with EPA preparations. Although the cardiovascular outcomes data are not fully available, meta-analysis of available data reports protection against vascular disease.The addition of ω-3 fatty acid treatment should be considered in patients with severe HTG as well as high-risk patients for atherosclerotic disease. Emerging data are supportive, but long-term outcome studies are still underway.

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