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New Analysis Shows Troubling Trend in Triglyceride Levels May Be Linked to Rising Rates of Obesity
Date:11/9/2008

While LDL control has improved, there is an urgent need for more comprehensive lipid control to protect against heart disease

NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- A new 30-year analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) database conducted by the National Lipid Association (NLA) indicates that while Americans are doing a better job of managing LDL or "bad" cholesterol, the percentage of adults with high triglycerides, a blood fat linked to heart disease, has doubled, leaving many people at risk for potentially life-threatening events such as heart attack or stroke. Results of the analysis were presented today at the American Heart Association's Annual Scientific Sessions in New Orleans.

Between 1976 and 2006 the number of Americans with unhealthy isolated LDL levels dropped from 43 percent to 40 percent, an improvement that researchers attribute to more aggressive educational initiatives and treatment. However, far less emphasis has been placed on controlling triglycerides. The rising rates of isolated high triglycerides seen over the last three decades underscore the need for physicians and patients to understand and treat all three key lipids, which include LDL, HDL or "good" cholesterol and triglycerides.

"Studies have shown that unhealthy levels of triglycerides and HDL can lead to heart attack and stroke," said study author Jerome D. Cohen, M.D., chairman of the National Lipid Association's consumer affairs committee and professor emeritus of internal medicine and cardiology at the St. Louis University School of Medicine. "As we continue our efforts to reduce the toll of heart disease in America, this study clearly shows the need for increased focus on controlling triglycerides, in addition to the other components of the lipid profile."

Along with LDL and HDL, triglycerides are the third component of the lipid profile and are an independent and compounding risk factor for heart disease, the leading
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SOURCE National Lipid Association
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