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Clin Ther. 2012 Jan;34(1):67-76. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2011.12.001. Epub 2011 Dec 31.

The effect of a 12-week course of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on lipid parameters in hypertriglyceridemic adult HIV-infected patients undergoing HAART: a randomized, placebo-controlled pilot trial.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, King's College London, United Kingdom.



Hypertriglyceridemia is common in patients with HIV treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).


The goal of this study was to investigate the effect of the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 460 mg/eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) 380 mg on hypertriglyceridemia in HIV-treated patients.


A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, multicenter pilot study was undertaken in 48 evaluable HIV-infected patients undergoing HAART, with fasting triglyceride levels of 3.39 to 11.3 mmol/L. Patients were allowed fibrate or niacin but not statins and were randomized to PUFA 4 g daily versus placebo for 12 weeks. The primary end point was mean fasting triglyceride levels.


The study included 48 patients; 23 in the PUFA group (mean age, 46.1 years) and 25 in the placebo group (mean age, 43.6 years). All except one were male. All patients in the PUFA group were white; in the placebo group, 20 were white, 4 Asian, and 1 black. The PUFA group had a mean body mass index of 24.7 kg/m(2); the placebo group, 24.1 kg/m(2). All patients were receiving concomitant fibrate therapy. Median baseline triglyceride levels were 5.58 (1.76-10.6) mmol/L for the PUFA group and 4.29 (1.81-6.14) mmol/L for the placebo group. PUFA reduced triglycerides by a median of 1.75 mmol/L versus a 0.41 mmol/L increase for the placebo group (baseline-corrected percentage change relative to placebo [95% CI, -69.48% to -6.53%; P = 0.019). No effect was seen on biochemical or virologic safety parameters. No severe treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) occurred. Mild and moderate TEAEs occurred in 20 PUFA-treated patients versus 19 patients receiving placebo. Five were adjudged treatment related, and one was due to cholelithiasis, which led to early discontinuation. Most TEAEs affected the gastrointestinal tract (DHA/EPA, n = 7; placebo, n = 4) and comprised diarrhea, nausea, and flatulence (DHA/EPA vs placebo: 3, 2, and 2 vs 2, 0, and 0, respectively).


PUFA therapy with DHA/EPA reduced triglyceride levels significantly compared with placebo in HIV-infected patients with HAART-associated hypertriglyceridemia.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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