JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Triglycerides and cardiovascular disease

Børge G Nordestgaard, Anette Varbo
Lancet 2014 August 16, 384 (9943): 626-635
25131982
After the introduction of statins, clinical emphasis first focussed on LDL cholesterol-lowering, then on the potential for raising HDL cholesterol, with less focus on lowering triglycerides. However, the understanding from genetic studies and negative results from randomised trials that low HDL cholesterol might not cause cardiovascular disease as originally thought has now generated renewed interest in raised concentrations of triglycerides. This renewed interest has also been driven by epidemiological and genetic evidence supporting raised triglycerides, remnant cholesterol, or triglyceride-rich lipoproteins as an additional cause of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality. Triglycerides can be measured in the non-fasting or fasting states, with concentrations of 2-10 mmol/L conferring increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and concentrations greater than 10 mmol/L conferring increased risk of acute pancreatitis and possibly cardiovascular disease. Although randomised trials showing cardiovascular benefit of triglyceride reduction are scarce, new triglyceride-lowering drugs are being developed, and large-scale trials have been initiated that will hopefully provide conclusive evidence as to whether lowering triglycerides reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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