Hypertriglyceridemia. What is this? Is this important?

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Hypertriglyceridemia. What is this?  Is this important?

Hypertriglyceridemia is when the fasting serum triglyceride is 150 or more. 

Why is this important?  Hypertriglyceridemia is linked with an increase risk of cardiovascular disease.  If the triglycerides are more than 500, the risk of pancreatitis also increases.  Other risk factors for hypertriglyceridemia are metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

How to manage hypertriglyceridemia?  If the level is less than 500, start with increasing exercise and change diet.  Good diets include low-carb and Mediterrean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.   Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.   Exercise promotes the muscle’s uptake of glucose and can reduce triglyceride levels. Moderate to high-intensity exercise and endurance exercise are especially helpful. Weight loss is important!  Even 5% weight loss is important.

If triglycerides are more than 500, your physician can calculate a 10-year risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.  If risk of heart attack or stroke (per the ASCVD risk calculator) is borderline (5 to 7.5%) or intermediate risk (7.5 – 20%) consider taking a statin medication.   If statins are not enough, then high-dose icosapent can reduce cardiovascular mortality (but only decreases 1 cardiovascular death over 5 years per 111 patients on the medication). 

Other medications which may help, but have not been studied thoroughly are fibrates, omega-3 fatty acids, and niacin. 

I hope this helps.

About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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