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Atheroscler Suppl. 2013 Aug;14(2):237-42. doi: 10.1016/S1567-5688(13)70004-7.

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the treatment of atherogenic dyslipidemia.

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Center for the Study of Atherosclerosis, Bassini Hospital, Cinisello Balsamo, Italy.


Epidemiological studies have established an association between high triglycerides (TG) plasma levels and increased cardiovascular risk. Increased TG levels, commonly coupled with low HDL-C levels, are common in high cardiovascular risk subjects including those with dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Management of hypertriglyceridemia (HTG) includes lifestyle modification for mild-to-moderate HTG and pharmacological therapies for the treatment of high and very high TG levels. Among drugs, fibrates, nicotinic acid and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may be considered. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce plasma TG levels by several mechanisms; beside the effects on TG, omega-3 can also influence the levels of other lipids and lipoproteins including HDL-C and LDL-C. Clinical trials have also shown that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation is effective also when added in combination with other lipid-lowering drugs. These findings suggest that omega-3 fatty acids may be usefully considered for the management of high TG levels.


Dyslipidemia; Hypertriglyceridemia; Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids; Triglycerides

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