Eicosapentaenoic acid reduces the progression of carotid intima-media thickness in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Atherosclerosis. 2006 Apr 5; [Epub ahead of print]  

Mita T, Watada H, Ogihara T, Nomiyama T, Ogawa O, Kinoshita J, Shimizu T, Hirose T, Tanaka Y, Kawamori R.
Department of Medicine, Metabolism and Endocrinology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan. 

To investigate the effect of highly purified eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) on the progression of diabetic macroangiopathy, we performed an open-label randomized prospective trial. A total of 81 Japanese type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to the EPA (1800mg/day) treated group or the control group. Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) were evaluated before and after treatment in both groups. Sixty patients (EPA group, n=30; control group, n=30) completed this study. During the study period of 2.1+/-0.2 years, the mean IMT and max IMT of the EPA treated group showed a significant annual decrease compared with that of the control group (mean IMT, -0.029+/-0.112mm versus 0.016+/-0.109mm, respectively, P=0.029; max IMT, -0.084+/-0.113mm versus -0.005+/-0.108mm, respectively, P=0.0008). The baPWV was also improved significantly in the EPA treated group compared with the control group (-22.1+/-127.9cm/s versus 62.3+/-223cm/s, respectively, P=0.021). Multiple regression analysis showed that the administration of EPA was a significant and independent factor associated with an annual improvement of mean IMT (R(2)=0.067). In summary, this is the first demonstration that administration of purified EPA improves the carotid IMT and the baPWV in patients with type 2 diabetes.