Recent Clinical Trials Shed New Light on the Cardiovascular Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Penny M. Kris-Etherton, Chesney K. Richter, Kate J. Bowen, Ann C. Skulas-Ray, Kristina Harris Jackson, Kristina S. Petersen, William S. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Three recent clinical trials have demonstrated the benefits of marine omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular disease end points. In the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL), 840 mg/d of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) resulted in a 28% reduced risk for heart attacks, 50% reduced risk for fatal heart attacks, and 17% reduced risk for total coronary heart disease events. In the ASCEND trial (A Study of Cardiovascular Events in Diabetes), cardiovascular disease death was significantly reduced by 19% with 840 mg/d of EPA and DHA. However, the primary composite end points were not significantly reduced in either study. In REDUCE-IT (the Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with Icosapent Ethyl-Intervention Trial), there was a 25% decrease in the primary end point of major cardiovascular events with 4 g/d EPA (icosapent ethyl) in patients with elevated triglycerides (135-499 mg/dL) who also were taking a statin drug. For clinical practice, we now have compelling evidence of the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. The findings of REDUCE-IT provide a strong rationale for prescribing icosapent ethyl for patients with hypertriglyceridemia who are on a statin. For primary prevention, the goal is to increase the population intake of omega-3 fatty acids to levels currently recommended, which translates to consuming at least one to two servings of fish/seafood per week. For individuals who prefer taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements, recent findings from clinical trials support the benefits for primary prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
JournalMethodist DeBakey cardiovascular journal
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019

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Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Clinical Trials
Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Eicosapentaenoic Acid
Docosahexaenoic Acids
Primary Prevention
Cardiovascular Diseases
Myocardial Infarction
Seafood
Cholecalciferol
Hypertriglyceridemia
Coronary Disease
Fishes
Triglycerides
ethyl eicosapentaenoic acid
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Population

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Kris-Etherton, Penny M. ; Richter, Chesney K. ; Bowen, Kate J. ; Skulas-Ray, Ann C. ; Jackson, Kristina Harris ; Petersen, Kristina S. ; Harris, William S. / Recent Clinical Trials Shed New Light on the Cardiovascular Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. In: Methodist DeBakey cardiovascular journal. 2019 ; Vol. 15, No. 3. pp. 171-178.
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abstract = "Three recent clinical trials have demonstrated the benefits of marine omega-3 fatty acids on cardiovascular disease end points. In the Vitamin D and Omega-3 Trial (VITAL), 840 mg/d of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) resulted in a 28{\%} reduced risk for heart attacks, 50{\%} reduced risk for fatal heart attacks, and 17{\%} reduced risk for total coronary heart disease events. In the ASCEND trial (A Study of Cardiovascular Events in Diabetes), cardiovascular disease death was significantly reduced by 19{\%} with 840 mg/d of EPA and DHA. However, the primary composite end points were not significantly reduced in either study. In REDUCE-IT (the Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with Icosapent Ethyl-Intervention Trial), there was a 25{\%} decrease in the primary end point of major cardiovascular events with 4 g/d EPA (icosapent ethyl) in patients with elevated triglycerides (135-499 mg/dL) who also were taking a statin drug. For clinical practice, we now have compelling evidence of the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. The findings of REDUCE-IT provide a strong rationale for prescribing icosapent ethyl for patients with hypertriglyceridemia who are on a statin. For primary prevention, the goal is to increase the population intake of omega-3 fatty acids to levels currently recommended, which translates to consuming at least one to two servings of fish/seafood per week. For individuals who prefer taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements, recent findings from clinical trials support the benefits for primary prevention.",
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Recent Clinical Trials Shed New Light on the Cardiovascular Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. / Kris-Etherton, Penny M.; Richter, Chesney K.; Bowen, Kate J.; Skulas-Ray, Ann C.; Jackson, Kristina Harris; Petersen, Kristina S.; Harris, William S.

In: Methodist DeBakey cardiovascular journal, Vol. 15, No. 3, 01.07.2019, p. 171-178.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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