, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 71-79
Date: 17 Dec 2008

Drug therapy for hypertriglyceridemia: Fibrates and omega-3 fatty acids

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The reduction of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in patients at risk for acute cardiovascular events is the cornerstone of lipid management in both the primary and secondary prevention settings. Serum triglyceride levels exceeding 150 mg/dL are abnormal and confer increased risk for developing coronary artery disease in both men and women. Serum triglycerides are derived from both dietary and endogenous biosynthetic pathways. Triglyceride metabolism has a complex regulatory circuitry and intimately impacts the production and disposal of multiple lipoprotein species. Hypertriglyceridemia is highly prevalent and is associated with multiple forms of dyslipidemia but tends to be undertreated. Therapeutic intervention with fibric acid derivatives and omega-3 fish oils is associated with significant reductions in both fasting and postprandial serum triglyceride concentrations. A variety of prospective, placebo-controlled clinical trials have also shown that these agents significantly impact risk for multiple cardiovascular end points.