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A Practical Approach to the Management of Residual Cardiovascular Risk: United Arab Emirates Expert Consensus Panel on the Evidence for Icosapent Ethyl and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

PURPOSE: Patients with hyperlipidemia treated with statins remain at a residual cardiovascular (CV) risk. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids hold the potential to mitigate the residual CV risk in statin-treated patients, with persistently elevated triglyceride (TG) levels.

METHOD: We reviewed the current evidence on the use of icosapent ethyl (IPE), an omega-3 fatty acid yielding a pure form of eicosapentaenoic acid.

RESULTS: REDUCE-IT reported a significant 25% reduction in CV events, including the need for coronary revascularization, the risk of fatal/nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina, and CV death in patients on IPE, unseen with other omega-3 fatty acids treatments. IPE was effective in all patients regardless of baseline CV risk enhancers (TG levels, type-2 diabetes status, weight status, prior revascularization, or renal function). Adverse events (atrial fibrillation/flutter) related to IPE have occurred mostly in patients with prior atrial fibrillation. Yet, the net clinical benefit largely exceeded potential risks. The combination with other omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, in particular DHA, eliminated the effect of EPA alone, as reported in the STRENGTH and OMEMI trials. Adding IPE to statin treatment seems to be cost-effective, especially in the context of secondary prevention of CVD, decreasing CV event frequency and subsequently the use of healthcare resources.

CONCLUSION: Importantly, IPE has been endorsed by 20 international medical societies as a statin add-on treatment in patients with dyslipidemia and high CV risk. Robust medical evidence supports IPE as a pillar in the management of dyslipidemia.

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