Effects of Statins on Serum n-3 to n-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Ratios in Patients With Coronary Artery Disease

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A low n-3 to n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) ratio is reported to be associated with cardiovascular events. However, the effects of statins on this ratio have not been fully examined.


A total of 101 patients with coronary artery disease, who were not receiving lipid-lowering therapy were randomly assigned to receive either 4 mg/day of pitavastatin or 20 mg/day of pravastatin. Serum PUFA levels were measured at baseline and 8 months after treatment with statins.


Pitavastatin was used to treat 51 patients and the remaining 50 patients were treated using pravastatin. A significant positive correlation was observed between the percent change in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and that in dihomogamma-linolenic acid (r = .376, P = .007), arachidonic acid (AA; r = .316, P = .02), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; r = .408, P = .003), or docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; r = .270, P = .056) in the pitavastatin group. However, these correlations were not observed in the pravastatin group. The DHA/AA ratio decreased significantly in the pitavastatin group only (from 0.96 to 0.83, P = .0002) and the DHA/AA ratio was significantly lower in the pitavastatin group at 8 months (0.83 vs 0.96, P = .03). The EPA/AA ratio did not show significant changes in either group.


Pitavastatin decreased the serum DHA/AA ratio, whereas pravastatin had no effect on this ratio. Neither pitavastatin nor pravastatin had an effect on the serum EPA/AA ratio in patients with coronary artery disease.

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