2017 年 24 巻 10 号 p. 999-1010
The adoption of the Western-style diet, with decreased fish intake and lack of exercise, has increased the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Japan. Statin treatment has been established to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events; however, 60%–70% of these events occur despite its use. Thus, the residual risk for CVD should be identified and resolved to reduce further cardiovascular events. The serum levels of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), including eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, are reportedly associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular events and mortality, whereas the addition of n-3 PUFA treatment to the statin treatment decreases cardiovascular events. Similar to statins, n-3 PUFAs have pleiotropic effects in addition to lipid-modifying effects. Pre-clinical and clinical studies have shown that n-3 PUFAs prevent cardiovascular events by ameliorating endothelial function and attenuating lipid accumulation, vascular inflammation, and macrophage recruitment, thereby causing coronary plaque development and rupture. Taken together, n-3 PUFAs are comprehensively able to attenuate the atherogenic response. Therefore, n-3 PUFA intake is recommended to prevent cardiovascular events, particularly in patients with multiple cardiovascular risk factors.