Hypertriglyceridemia: Risks and perspectives
The evidence linking hypertriglyceridemia and coronary artery disease (CAD) is reviewed. A positive correlation between plasma triglyceride level and CAD incidence has been demonstrated in most prospective studies on univariate analysis. However, the significance is weakened on multivariate analysis, in particular when level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is taken into account, perhaps because of the close metabolic interrelation between the triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and HDL particles. Recent analyses of clinical data have shown that the combination of elevations of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride and low levels of HDL cholesterol confers particularly high risk for CAD. The U.S. National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference on Triglyceride, High Density Lipoprotein, and Coronary Heart Disease in February 1992 made recommendations to integrate more fully HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels into the assessment and treatment of dyslipidemia and CAD risk. Treatment of hypertriglyceridemia should focus on diet and weight control, exercise, and smoking cessation, as well as control of other major risk factors for CAD, notably hypercholesterolemia and hypertension.