NLA Scientific Statement| Volume 13, ISSUE 6, P860-872, November 2019

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National Lipid Association Scientific Statement on the use of icosapent ethyl in statin-treated patients with elevated triglycerides and high or very-high ASCVD risk

Published:November 02, 2019DOI:


      • Hypertriglyceridemia is associated with increased ASCVD risk.
      • Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids lower circulating TG.
      • Benefits of low-dose omega-3 have been controversial.
      • In REDUCE-IT, icosapent ethyl demonstrated 25% net ASCVD risk reduction.
      • NLA: use icosapent ethyl in selected high TG ASCVD and/or diabetic patients on statin.


      Representatives from the National Lipid Association (NLA) participated in the development of the 2018 American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology/Multisociety Guideline on the Management of Blood Cholesterol, which reaffirmed that lifestyle changes and statin treatment are therapeutic cornerstones for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) risk reduction. It also updated prior recommendations to incorporate newer data demonstrating ASCVD risk reduction with ezetimibe and proprotein convertase subtilisin kexin type 9 inhibitors as adjuncts to statin therapy for patients at high and very-high ASCVD risk. The 2018 Guideline was finalized shortly before full results were available from a randomized, placebo-controlled cardiovascular outcomes trial [Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with Icosapent Ethyl–Intervention Trial (REDUCE-IT)] that examined the effects of icosapent ethyl (IPE) 4 g/d on major adverse cardiovascular events in selected high- or very high-risk, statin-treated patients with elevated triglycerides. The primary outcome variable of first major adverse cardiovascular event (cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, coronary revascularization and hospitalization for unstable angina) was reduced by 25% (95% confidence interval 17%–32%, P < .001). REDUCE-IT served as the primary basis for the NLA's review of evidence for the use of IPE for ASCVD risk reduction. Based on this review, the NLA position is that for patients aged ≥45 years with clinical ASCVD, or aged ≥50 years with diabetes mellitus requiring medication plus ≥1 additional risk factor, with fasting triglycerides 135 to 499 mg/dL on high-intensity or maximally tolerated statin therapy (±ezetimibe), treatment with IPE is recommended for ASCVD risk reduction (evidence rating: class I; evidence level: B-R).


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