What is Hypertriglyceridemia?

Hypertriglyceridemia is an abnormally high level of triglycerides in the blood. It is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, and sudden death due to cardiac causes. Hypertriglyceridemia can be caused by many different factors and is often seen with diabetes, alcoholism, kidney disorders, and obesity.

What Causes Hypertriglyceridemia?

Hypertriglyceridemia is usually caused by an unhealthy lifestyle such as a diet that is high in saturated fat, trans fat, and simple sugars, coupled with relatively little exercise. Diabetes, obesity, and alcohol intake can also contribute.

Risk factors for Hypertriglyceridemia

Some common risk factors which increase the likelihood of hypertriglyceridemia include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Lack of regular physical activity
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Insulin resistance or diabetes
  • Kidney disorders
  • Inherited genetic disorders
  • Certain medications such as steroids or beta blockers

Complications of Hypertriglyceridemia

Most people with hypertriglyceridemia never have any signs or symptoms, so it can go undiagnosed until a blood test reveals its presence. Serious health complications can occur if the disorder is left untreated, including:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack and stroke
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Sudden death due to cardiac causes
  • Acute pancreatitis

Prevention of Hypertriglyceridemia

Making lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, avoiding substances like tobacco, and maintaining a healthy weight is essential for preventing hypertriglyceridemia. You should also consult your doctor if you think you may be at risk. Your doctor may prescribe medications to help if lifestyle modifications don’t work.