From the Journals

Icosapent ethyl’s CV mortality benefit magnified in patients with prior MI



Prior TG-lowering studies disappointing

In fact, several studies evaluating other strategies for TG reductions have been disappointing, according to an accompanying editorial (J Am Coll Cardiol. 2022 Apr 25; doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2022.03.001). For example, the STRENGTH trial did not show clinical benefits despite a slightly greater reduction in TGs than that shown in REDUCE-IT (19% reduction vs. 18.3%).

Overall, the REDUCE-IT trial and the prior-MI REDUCE-IT substudy show that there is targetable residual risk in high risk patients on statin therapy. One of the authors of the editorial that accompanied the prior-MI substudy of REDUCE-IT, William E. Boden, MD, professor of medicine, Boston University, emphasized this point. On the basis of REDUCE-IT, he said he believes that IPE should be considered to have broad indications as an adjunctive treatment to other lipid-lowering strategies.

“My practice centers on optimizing secondary prevention in high-risk patients who have elevated TG levels despite well-controlled LDL levels on statins, ezetimibe, or even PCSK-9 [proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9] inhibitors,” Dr. Boden said in an interview. Patients with diabetes are notorious for presenting with this profile of dyslipidemia, but he added that “even nondiabetics with prior MI, acute coronary syndrome, or revascularization will benefit from the addition of IPE to high-potency statins.”

Although the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have not yet updated their guidelines to include IPE, Dr. Boden pointed out that the European Society of Cardiology, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society, and the American Diabetes Society have.

Dr. Bhatt added that there is a clear message from REDUCE-IT that IPE addresses residual risk.

Targeting the subgroup of high-risk patients with elevated TGs “is easy” because they are so readily identifiable, according to Dr. Bhatt, but he said it should be used for any patient that meet the entry criteria used for REDUCE-IT.

“The overall results of REDUCE-IT were robustly positive, so I wouldn’t just use it in patients with prior MI,” Dr. Bhatt said.

Dr. Bhatt reports financial relationships with more than 20 pharmaceutical companies, including Amarin, which provided funding for this trial. Dr. Boden reports no potential conflicts of interest.


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