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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

I wouldn't call it that. Yes, high triglycerides are considered a risk factor for heart disease. Actually, depending how high your number is, the bigger problem may be the risk of pancreatitis.

There are a number of things you can do to lower your numbers, and hence the associated risk of either problem. Basically the same dietary efforts to control cholesterol will also help lower triglycerides. That is a low fat, low carb, high soluble fibre diet, limited processed sugar and alcohol (alcohol seems to negatively impact triglyceride levels more then it does cholesterol) - the usuall things.

Also regular exercise is a must, and keeping your weight down.

If you need meds, the fibrates are targeted more toward triglycerides then any other class of lipid medications. For strict hypertriglyceridemia (ie. cholesterol numbers not outlandish, just trigs), gemfibrozil seems the most effective medication. Alternatively, tricor (fenofibrate) is also commonly prescribed. Either one, by itself is well tolerated, but a fibrate and a statin together increases the risk of muscle pain and problems by some 40x that of a statin alone. Gemfibrozil and a statin is not recommended, since gemfibrozil specifically interferes with the clearance of the statin from the blood stream. If combo therapy is to be used, the better choice is tricor and a statin.

Hypertriglyeridemia is a risk factor. Like any other risk factor, it can be controlled, and the risk reduced, by lowering the plasma trig level. Also, like any risk factor, it does not guarantee any particular future event, just raises the likelihood of it.

Oh, and like any risk factor, you do ignore it at your own peril. So don't get fatalistic about it - just deal with it. Take the steps to get the numbers down and reduce the risk.

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