Comparison of efficacy and safety of combination therapy with statins and omega-3 fatty acids versus statin monotherapy in patients with dyslipidemia: A systematic review and meta-analysis


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Abstract

Objective:Dyslipidemia is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Both statins and omega-3 fatty acids demonstrate beneficial effects on lipid concentrations. The goal was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of combination therapy with statins and omega-3 fatty acids.Methods:We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of published data to compare the safety and efficacy of combination therapy with statins and omega-3 fatty acids versus statin monotherapy in patients with dyslipidemia. Six articles were assessed in the present meta-analysis (quantitative assessment) and qualitative assessment.Results:In terms of efficacy, the combination treatment afforded a significantly greater reduction in total cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol than statin alone did [standard difference in means = −0.215; 95% confidence interval (CI) −0.359–−0.071]. However, there was no significant difference in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol between the 2 groups. Qualitative assessment of other lipid parameters was performed. Combination therapy with statins and omega-3 fatty acids was generally more effective on lipid concentration than statin monotherapy. In terms of safety, there were no significant differences in total adverse events between the 2 groups. Gastrointestinal adverse events were found to be significantly increased in patients receiving combination therapy using the fixed-effects model (relative risk = 0.547; 95% CI 0.368–0.812).Conclusions:We suggest that combination therapy with statins and omega-3 fatty acids enhances lipid profile, except LDL cholesterol, compared with statin monotherapy. Nevertheless, statin and omega-3 fatty acid combination should be cautiously recommended, taking into account the clinical importance of LDL cholesterol and safety issues associated with their concomitant use.

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