High triglycerides are high levels of a type of fat in the blood. Triglycerides come from certain fats in food. When triglyceride levels are high, it can raise the risk of heart disease and stroke. Treatment can help lower triglycerides.
Causes may include:
High triglycerides are more common in older adults, especially men.. Women who have gone through menopause also have a higher risk. Other things that may raise the risk are:
High triglyceride levels usually do not cause symptoms. Very high levels of can cause:
High triglyceride levels can raise the risk of atherosclerosis. This can can end up blocking blood flow. In some cases, this may result in:
Blood Vessel with Atherosclerosis
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Triglycerides can be measured in the blood. The test is done as part of a regular screening. For healthy adults this may be every few years. Those with risk factors for heart disease may be screened more often. Young children may be screened if they are obese or have a family history of high triglycerides or high cholesterol. Regular screening may also be advised for older children.
Triglyceride screening is part of a fasting lipid profile blood test. It will include other measurements such as:
A doctor can advise how often a person should be tested for high triglycerides. This is often based on the person's family and medical history.
The goal of treatment is to lower triglyceride levels. It will also help to lower the risk for heart disease and stroke. Treatment options include:
Certain foods and drinks can affect triglyceride levels. To help lower triglyceride levels, the doctor may advise:
Other steps that can help lower triglyceride levels include:
There are many medicines to treat this condition., Some examples are statins, fibrates, and niacin. Medicines may help lower the risk of problems caused by high triglyceride levels., such as pancreatitis. They may also help lower the risk for heart disease. They may be used alone or with other medicines . The doctor can advise which are best.
Even when using medicines, diet and exercise are important..
To help reduce the chance of getting hyperlipidemia, talk to the doctor about: :
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Hypertriglyceridemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hypertriglyceridemia. Accessed December 22,2020.
Klempfner, R, Erez, A, Sagit, B, et al. Elevated triglyceride level is independently associated with increased all-cause mortality in patients with established coronary heart disease: twenty-two-year follow-up of the bezafibrate infarction prevention study and registry. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2016 Mar;9(2):100-8. Accessed December 22, 2021.
What your cholesterol levels mean. American Heart Association website. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol/what-your-cholesterol-levels-mean. Accessed December 22, 2021 .
Last reviewed February 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Mary-Beth Seymour, RN
Last Updated: 12/21/2020