The effect of omega-3 fatty acids on the atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype in patients with nephrotic range proteinuria

Samira Bell, Josephine Cooney, Christopher J. Packard, Muriel J. Caslake, Christopher J. Deighan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Patients with nephrotic range proteinuria are known to have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease partly due to possessing the atherogenic lipoprotein phenotype. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of high dose Omega-3 fatty acids on atherogenic triglyceride rich lipoproteins in patients with nephrotic range proteinuria, comparing their effect on lipoprotein profiles in age and sex matched controls. Methods: 17 patients with nephrotic range proteinuria and 17 age and sex matched controls were studied. Fasting lipids and lipoproteins were measured before and after 8 weeks treatment with 4 g daily of Omega-3 fatty acids (Omacor®). Results: In patients with proteinuria treatment reduced plasma triglyceride by a mean of 0.45 mmol/l (95%CI 0.16 - 0.74, p = 0.005) and plasma very low density lipoprotein cholesterol by a mean of 0.38 (95%CI 0.01 - 0.75, p = 0.04). LDL III concentration fell from 178.8 mg/dl (61.6 - 231.0) to 96.1 mg/dl (49.3 - 204.5), p = 0.05. In patients treatment altered the LDL profile so that LDLIII which was the major subfraction present at baseline was reduced from 49.9% to 29.8% (p = 0.01). Remnant lipoproteins (RLP) also fell with a mean reduction of 3.5 mg/dl in RLP-Cholesterol (95%CI 0.1 - 6.9, p = 0.05) and 12.4 mg/dl in RLP-triglyceride (95%CI 2.6 - 22.2, p = 0.03). There was however a 0.6 mmol/l rise in LDL-C (p = 0.06) in the patients. Treatment did not alter HDL-C. Conclusion: In patients with nephrotic range proteinuria, Omega-3 fatty acids reduced triglyceride rich lipoproteins, LDL III and remnant lipoproteins. A tendency to an increase in LDL-C was observed but this was offset by an alteration in the distribution of the LDL profile towards lighter, larger LDL particles. We propose that treatment with Omega-3 fatty acids in conjunction with a statin may be the ideal therapy in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-453
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Nephrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Lipids
  • Lipoproteins
  • Nephrotic
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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