TUESDAY, March 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For statin-treated patients with elevated triglycerides and established cardiovascular disease or diabetes, icosapent ethyl is associated with a reduced rate of total primary end point events, according to a study published online March 18 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held from March 16 to 18 in New Orleans.

Deepak L. Bhatt, M.D., M.P.H., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital Heart & Vascular Center in Boston, and colleagues randomly assigned 8,179 statin-treated patients with triglycerides ≥135 and <500 mg/dL, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol >40 and ≤100 mg/dL, and a history of atherosclerosis or diabetes (71 and 29 percent, respectively) to receive either 4 g of daily icosapent ethyl or placebo. Patients were followed for a median of 4.9 years.

There were 1,606 first primary end point events (cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, coronary revascularization, or hospitalization for unstable angina) and 1,303 subsequent primary end point events. The researchers found that compared with placebo, icosapent ethyl correlated with a reduction in total primary end point events (61 versus 89 per 1,000 patient-years; rate ratio, 0.70). Icosapent ethyl also correlated with reductions in each component of the primary end composite end point and with a reduction in the total key secondary end point events (32 versus 44 per 1,000 patient-years; rate ratio, 0.72).

“Icosapent ethyl presents an important treatment option to further reduce the total burden of atherosclerotic events beyond statin therapy alone,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical and medical device companies, including Amarin Pharma, which funded the study.

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