Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Eicosapentaenoic & Docosahexaenoic Acid & Statins

J Am Heart Assoc; ePub 2017 Dec 15; Alfaddagh, et al

High-dose eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid provided additional benefit to statins in preventing progression of fibrous coronary plaque in individuals adherent to therapy with well-controlled low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels, a recent study found. 285 participants with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) on statins were randomized to omega-3 ethyl-ester or no omega-3 (control) for 30 months. Mean age of participants was 63.0 years; mean LDL-C ≤80 mg/dL. Researchers found:

  • High dose eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid (3.36 g daily) provided additional benefit to statins in preventing progression of fibrous coronary plaque over 30 months.
  • Participants aged <64.2 years had significantly less progression of noncalcified plaque and fibrous, calcified, and total plaque volume compared with older participants.
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid prevented plaque progression in those on low‐intensity statin, but not high‐intensity statin.


Alfaddagh A, Elajami TK, Ashfaque H, Saleh M, Bistrian BR, Welty FK. Effect of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids added to statin therapy on coronary artery plaque in patients with coronary artery disease: A randomized clinical trial. [Published online ahead of print December 15, 2017]. J Am Heart Assoc. doi:10.1161/JAHA.117.006981.

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