Michael Miller, MD, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is available to comment on a new science advisory issued by the American Heart Association today which states that taking a prescription omega-3 fatty acid capsule is an effective way of lowering moderately elevated levels of triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood) to protect against heart disease. The advisory noted that prescription omega-3 fatty acids (a component found in fish oil) are an “effective and safe option for reducing triglycerides” when used either alone or with a cholesterol-lowering statin drug. He is co-author of the advisory and of the research that supported it.

The AHA panel of experts based their new guidance on a randomized clinical trial, published earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine, that found those at high risk of heart disease who took the prescription omega-3 fatty acid capsule, icosapent ethyl (IPE), every day for 5 years could reduce their heart risks by 25 percent compared to those who took a placebo.

“This is significant news and will likely change the way doctors practice,” said Dr. Miller.  “It emphasizes the importance of lowering moderately elevated triglyceride levels to protect against heart disease, especially in those who are at increased risk of having a heart attack or stroke because they have diabetes, a strong family history, or previously established heart disease.”