J Lipid Atheroscler.  2019 Sep;8(2):221-231. 10.12997/jla.2019.8.2.221.

Efficacy and Safety of Prescription Omega-3 Fatty Acids Added to Stable Statin Therapy in Korean Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertriglyceridemia: a Randomized Controlled Trial

  • 1Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Bucheon St. Mary's Hospital, Bucheon, Korea. sjyoo@catholic.ac.kr
  • 2Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Bucheon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Internal Medicine, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea.
  • 4Department of Endocrinology, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Korea.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of omega-3 fatty acids added to statin monotherapy in Korean patients with type 2 diabetes who have persistent hypertriglyceridemia despite statin therapy.
This study was a randomized controlled trial conducted in 4 clinical sites between February 2009 and February 2011. The inclusion criteria were patients with type 2 diabetes who had received ≥6 weeks of statin therapy and had fasting triglyceride (TG) levels ≥1.7mmol/L and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels <2.6 mmol/L. The study regimen consisted of 16 weeks of randomized treatment with omega-3 fatty acids (4 g/day) plus a statin (n=26) or statin only (n=30). The primary endpoint was the change from baseline to final visit in mean TG level.
A total of 56 participants were analyzed. At week 16, the change in the TG level in the combination therapy group differed significantly from the change in the statin monotherapy group (−34.8% vs. −15.2%, p=0.0176). Treatment with omega-3 fatty acids plus a statin was also associated with a significant decrease in non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol compared with baseline, but the difference was not significant compared with the statin monotherapy group (−8.0% vs. −2.5%, p=0.165). The changes in LDL cholesterol and HbA1c levels did not differ significantly between groups. The study medications were well tolerated, and adverse events were comparable between two groups.
Adding omega-3 fatty acids to statin treatment reduced TG levels more effectively than statin monotherapy without undesirable effects in Korean type 2 diabetic patients who had hypertriglyceridemia despite well-controlled LDL cholesterol on stable statin therapy. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02305355


Diabetes mellitus, type 2; Hypertriglyceridemia; Fatty acids, omega-3
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