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Rheumatol Int. 2013 Nov;33(11):2789-96. doi: 10.1007/s00296-013-2811-3. Epub 2013 Jul 2.

Omega-3 in SLE: a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of endothelial dysfunction and disease activity in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Author information

1
Division of Rheumatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1830 East Monument Street, Suite 7500, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA, bellojibril@yahoo.co.uk.

Abstract

Accelerated atherosclerosis remains a major cause of death in late systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Omega-3 has been reported to have benefit for endothelial dysfunction, one of the earliest stages of atherosclerosis, and to reduce disease activity in SLE. We performed a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial to examine the effect of Omega-3 on endothelial function, disease activity, inflammatory markers and lipids in SLE. SLE patients (n = 85, mean age 47, 55% Caucasian, 38% African-American, 94% female) were randomly assigned to 3 g of Omega-3 (Lovaza, GSK) versus placebo for 12 weeks. Endothelial function was measured at baseline and at 12 weeks using flow-mediated dilation, calculated using high-resolution B-mode ultrasound of the brachial artery diameter in response to vasoactive stimuli (hyperemia). Disease activity was measured using the physician global assessment and SELENA-SLEDAI score. Inflammatory markers (sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, IL-6) and fasting lipid profile were done at baseline and 12-week follow-up. There was no difference between the treatment groups with respect to changes in flow-mediated dilation parameters or disease activity. An average increase in LDL cholesterol of 3.11 mg/dL (±21.99) was found with Omega-3 versus a decrease of 1.87 mg/dL (±18.29) with placebo (p = 0.0266). In this trial, Omega-3 did not improve endothelial function, disease activity, nor reduce inflammatory markers in SLE. Longer trials might be required if there are delayed clinical effects. There was evidence that Omega-3 may increase LDL cholesterol, but not the LDL/HDL ratio.

PMID:
23817872
PMCID:
PMC3805738
DOI:
10.1007/s00296-013-2811-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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