Taking on Triglycerides: Research Medication Lowers Fatal Fat

Sherri Goff survived a heart attack but still had high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in her blood.

The elevated numbers worried her because the fat in her blood could lead to hardening of the arteries or a thickening of the artery wall. That could mean a higher risk of stroke or another heart attack.

But because she enrolled in a CHI Health clinical trial, she now has lower levels of the dangerous fat – and the satisfaction of knowing that in the coming months, she’s helping thousands of others with the same problem. CHI Health patients were among hundreds of patients across the country who took part in the five-year-long clinical trial.

The drug she took – now known as Vascepa – proved to dramatically reduce the risk of cardiovascular “events” by lowering very high levels of triglycerides by 33 percent.

“It is definitely accurate to call Vascepa a lifesaver,” said Sherri’s cardiologist, Joseph Thibodeau, MD. “Vascepa helps reduce the risk of MI (myocardial infarction or heart attack), stroke and cardiovascular death in the study population of patients.”

Dr. Thibodeau said he encounters patients every day who are at risk for a heart attack or stroke. “Many of these patients are willing to do whatever it takes to minimize their cardiovascular risk. It is gratifying to have one more piece to the puzzle and provide one more strategy to reduce their risk for a serious cardiovascular event.”