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J Clin Lipidol. 2009 Oct;3(5):332-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2009.08.001. Epub 2009 Aug 31.

Effects of prescription omega-3-acid ethyl esters on lipoprotein particle concentrations, apolipoproteins AI and CIII, and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A(2) mass in statin-treated subjects with hypertriglyceridemia.

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Radiant Research, 515 North State Street, Suite 2700, Chicago, IL 60654, USA; The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA.



Prescription omega-3-acid ethyl esters (P-OM3) often are used for hypertriglyceridemic patients receiving statin therapy who have residual increases in atherogenic lipoprotein lipid levels. To date, limited information has been published regarding the effects of omega-3 fatty acid consumption on lipoprotein particle concentrations.


We evaluated the effects of adding P-OM3 4g/d to an ongoing regimen of simvastatin 40mg/d on lipoprotein particles (P) in subjects with hypertriglyceridemia.


Data were analyzed from the multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Combination of Prescription Omega-3s with Simvastatin (COMBOS) study. After an 8-week simvastatin lead-in, 254 subjects received P-OM3 (n=122) or placebo (n=132) for an additional 8 weeks. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to assess lipoprotein concentrations and sizes. Remnant-like particle cholesterol, apolipoprotein (Apo) CIII, Apo AI, and lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A(2) (Lp-PLA(2)) levels also were measured.


Compared with placebo, P-OM3 reduced mean very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL-P) size and increased low-density lipoprotein particle (LDL-P) size (P < .006 for both) without altering high-density lipoprotein particle (HDL-P) size. P-OM3 did not significantly change total VLDL-P or LDL-P concentrations relative to placebo, but large VLDL-P and intermediate-density lipoprotein particle (IDL-P) concentrations were lowered (P < .01 for both), and the large LDL-P concentration was increased (P < .0001). HDL-P concentration was reduced (P < .0001) as the result of a decrease in medium HDL-P. Remnant-like particle cholesterol, Apo CIII, and Lp-PLA(2) concentrations were reduced compared with placebo (all P < .003).


P-OM3 induces changes in sizes, concentrations, and compositions of lipoproteins that may have relevance for the atherothrombotic process.


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