Effects of Icosapent Ethyl on Total Ischemic Events: From REDUCE-IT

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2019 Jun 11;73(22):2791-2802. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2019.02.032. Epub 2019 Mar 18.


Background: In time-to-first-event analyses, icosapent ethyl significantly reduced the risk of ischemic events, including cardiovascular death, among patients with elevated triglycerides receiving statins. These patients are at risk for not only first but also subsequent ischemic events.

Objectives: Pre-specified analyses determined the extent to which icosapent ethyl reduced total ischemic events.

Methods: REDUCE-IT (Reduction of Cardiovascular Events with Icosapent Ethyl-Intervention Trial) randomized 8,179 statin-treated patients with triglycerides ≥135 and <500 mg/dl (median baseline of 216 mg/dl) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol >40 and ≤100 mg/dl (median baseline of 75 mg/dl), and a history of atherosclerosis (71% patients) or diabetes (29% patients) to icosapent ethyl 4 g/day or placebo. The main outcomes were total (first and subsequent) primary composite endpoint events (cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, coronary revascularization, or hospitalization for unstable angina) and total key secondary composite endpoint events (cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or nonfatal stroke). As a pre-specified statistical method, we determined differences in total events using negative binomial regression. We also determined differences in total events using other statistical models, including Andersen-Gill, Wei-Lin-Weissfeld (Li and Lagakos modification), both pre-specified, and a post hoc joint frailty analysis.

Results: In 8,179 patients, followed for a median of 4.9 years, 1,606 (55.2%) first primary endpoint events and 1,303 (44.8%) subsequent primary endpoint events occurred (which included 762 second events, and 541 third or more events). Overall, icosapent ethyl reduced total primary endpoint events (61 vs. 89 per 1,000 patient-years for icosapent ethyl versus placebo, respectively; rate ratio: 0.70; 95% confidence interval: 0.62 to 0.78; p < 0.0001). Icosapent ethyl also reduced totals for each component of the primary composite endpoint, as well as the total key secondary endpoint events (32 vs. 44 per 1,000 patient-years for icosapent ethyl versus placebo, respectively; rate ratio: 0.72; 95% confidence interval: 0.63 to 0.82; p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Among statin-treated patients with elevated triglycerides and cardiovascular disease or diabetes, multiple statistical models demonstrate that icosapent ethyl substantially reduces the burden of first, subsequent, and total ischemic events. (Reduction of Cardiovascular Events With Icosapent Ethyl-Intervention Trial [REDUCE-IT]; NCT01492361).

Keywords: eicosapentaenoic acid; icosapent ethyl.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / adverse effects
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / analogs & derivatives*
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hypercholesterolemia / complications
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy
  • Hypercholesterolemia / mortality
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / complications
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / drug therapy
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Ischemia / drug therapy*
  • Myocardial Ischemia / mortality
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • eicosapentaenoic acid ethyl ester
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01492361