This condition is diagnosed with blood tests. These tests measure the levels of
in the blood.
of a fasting
blood test including:
LDL (bad cholesterol)
HDL (good cholesterol)
Different major medical organizations have different recommendations for screening high triglycerides:
The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) advises that people have their lipids checked at least once every 5 years, starting at age 20.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) advises routine screening in men 35 years of age or older and women 45 years of age or older.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises lipid screening for children at risk, such as those with a family history of hyperlipidemia or significant obesity starting between 2 to 8 years of age.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) advises routine screening at 9 to 11 years old and again at 12 to 17 years old.
Your doctor may advise more frequent or earlier testing if you have a:
Family history of hyperlipidemia
Risk factor or disease that may cause hyperlipidemia
Complication that may result from hyperlipidemia
Treatment is not only aimed at correcting triglyceride
levels, but also at lowering the overall risk for heart disease and stroke.
Dietary changes can help to lower triglyceride levels. These may include:
There are a number of drugs available, such as
statins, fibrates, and niacin to treat this condition. These may help prevent complications from very high triglyceride levels, such as pancreatitis. They may also help lower the risk for heart disease. They may be used alone or together in different combinations. Talk to your doctor about whether these medications are right for you.
These medications are best used as additions to diet and exercise and should not replace healthy lifestyle changes.
To help reduce your chance of getting hyperlipidemia, follow this plan:
Have cholesterol tests starting at age 20—or younger if you have risk factors.
Eat a diet low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.
If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
Drink alcohol in moderation—2 drinks per day for men
1 drink per day for women.
What your cholesterol levels mean. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/What-Your-Cholesterol-Levels-Mean_UCM_305562_Article.jsp. Updated February 19, 2018. Accessed March 5, 2018.
Last reviewed March 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Alan Drabkin, MD
Last Updated: 5/2/2014
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.