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

cause of death in the U.S. Studies have shown that the risk of developing heart disease doubles when triglyceride levels are above 200 mg/dL. When triglycerides are above 200 mg/dL and HDL is below 40 mg/dL, a person is at four times the risk of developing heart disease. Other studies have shown that low HDL is predictive of cardiovascular events even when LDL is at goal.

While the percentage of the population with unhealthy HDL levels has remained relatively consistent over the past 30 years, the percentage of adults with a combination of high triglycerides and low levels of HDL doubled from two to four percent, further highlighting the need to simultaneously treat multiple lipids.

Obesity, Age and Triglycerides

The analysis cited dramatic increases in the number of obese Americans as one possible explanation for the spike in triglycerides over the last three decades. Data indicate a strong correlation between obesity (defined as a BMI greater than or equal to 30 kg/m2) and high triglycerides. Rates of obesity more than doubled from 15 percent in 1976 to 33.7 percent in 2006, while the percentage of Americans with isolated high triglycerides also doubled from 2.4 to 5.5 percent.

The study also revealed a strong increase in elevated triglyceride levels among people over the age of 60, with the likelihood of having unhealthy triglycerides increasing nearly five-fold from 1.8 percent in 1976 to 8.7 percent in 2006. This extensive analysis provides strong evidence of the connections between age, weight and lipid levels over the last 30 years.

"As Americans age and rates of obesity continue to grow exponentially, it is becoming more important to monitor and manage HDL and triglycerides, along with LDL," said Thomas Bersot, M.D., president of the National Lipid Association. "By elevating the need to address all three lipids, we hope to improve heart health in America."

Conclusions

Researchers involved with the study concl
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SOURCE National Lipid Association
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