Triglycerides condition: Who is at risk?

By  , Expert Content
Apr 13, 2011

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A blood test that measures your cholesterol also measures your triglycerides. For a general idea about your triglycerides level, compare your test results to the following:

    * Normal is less than 150.
    * Borderline-high is 150 to 199.
    * High is 200 to 499.
    * Very high is 500 or higher.

Who Gets High Cholesterol

There are several causes of high blood triglycerides. Some are common whereas others are uncommon.

 Some causes of high blood triglycerides include:

  • The commonest cause of elevated blood triglyceride level is sampling before adequate patient fasting. A recent meals leads to elevation of blood triglyceride levels as the fat (in the form of triglycerides) is transported from the gut to the rest of the body.
  • Metabolic syndrome: This syndrome is a cluster of metabolic risk factorsin an individual which includes insulin resistance, hypertension (high blood pressure), cholesterol abnormalities, and overweight or obese (abdominal obesity).
  • Obesity or overweight: Weight loss decreases high blood triglycerides, cholesterol and improves the  HDL-"good" cholesterol.
  • Type 2 diabetes: People with poorly controlled blood sugar (glucose) levels tend to have elevated triglycerides levels.
  • Consumption of high carbohydrate diet especially refined carbohydrates such as starches, grains, sweets, and other sugar-containing foods.
  • Excess intake of caffeine (in coffee, tea, colas)---that is on average 560 mg of caffeine per day.
  • Smoking cigarettes: Smoking increasesblood triglycerides and reduces HDL-"good" cholesterol.
  • Excess alcohol intake (alcohol abuse - heavy drinking or alcoholism)
  • Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise or physical activity
  • Chronic diseases like chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, nephrotic syndrome, pancreatitis
  • Genetic mutation of an enzyme in the lipid metabolism pathway (hyperlipoproteinemia)---the abnormality is characterized by excessively high levels of lipids (cholesterol, triglycerides, or both).
  • Drugs like diuretics tamoxifen miconazole (spironolactone Quinapril Mirtazapine beta-blockers
  • Hormonal diseases like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) Cushing's syndrome, underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)

High Cholesterol in Children

Triglyceride levels can be elevated during childhood as well in some children. Some causes of elevated triglyceride in children include:

  • Obesity or overweight: Weight loss decreases high blood triglycerides, cholesterol and improves the  HDL-"good" cholesterol.
  • Diet: Diets high fat content like pizza, burger and other junk foods
  • Sedentary Lifestyles: This is a major cause for high blood triglyceride levels. Regular physical activity or exercise can help to reduce weight and improve overall fitness.
  • Familial hypertriglyceridemia can cause elevated triglyceride. But this condition does not usually manifest itself until puberty or early adulthood.

Elevated blood triglyceride in children increases their risk of heart disease when they become an adult. The risk of developing heart disease as an adult is related to the triglyceride levels during the early years of life.

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