, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 505-511
Date: 09 Jan 2009

The role of triglycerides in cardiovascular risk

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Triglycerides’ role in coronary heart disease (CHD) risk assessment has long been debated. Although meta-analyses have suggested that triglycerides are an independent risk factor for CHD, a consensus has emerged that triglycerides more appropriately represent a biomarker of CHD risk rather than an independent risk factor. Ongoing studies will determine whether triglyceride lowering confers additional CHD benefit beyond that attained via low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol reduction. The American Diabetes Association presently recommends lowering elevated triglycerides as a secondary therapeutic target after LDL cholesterol, whereas other organizations, such as the National Cholesterol Education Program, recommend non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol as the second priority after attaining the LDL cholesterol goal. However, reducing very high triglycerides (ie, > 500 mg/dL) remains a sufficiently high priority in affected individuals.