High Blood Triglycerides

Also known as Hypertriglyceridemia, Dyslipidemia, Lipid Disorder
High blood triglycerides are high blood levels of a type of fat, or lipid, called triglycerides. Your body makes triglycerides or gets them from the foods you eat.
Overview

High blood triglycerides are a type of lipid disorder, or dyslipidemia. This condition may occur on its own, with other lipid disorders such as high blood cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol, or as part of metabolic syndrome.

Certain medical conditions, genetics, lifestyle habits, and some medicines are all risk factors for high blood triglycerides. Medical conditions that may increase blood triglyceride levels include thyroid disease, diabetes, liver and kidney diseases, and overweight and obesity. Sometimes the gene you inherited can cause high blood triglyceride levels. Being physically inactive, eating foods that are high in fat and sugar, or drinking too much alcohol may increase blood triglycerides. Some medicines used to treat breast cancer, high blood pressure, HIV, and other conditions may also increase triglyceride levels in the blood.

High blood triglycerides usually do not cause any symptoms. Untreated or uncontrolled high blood triglyceride levels may increase your risk of serious complications such as coronary heart disease and stroke. Very high blood triglycerides can increase the risk of acute pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas that causes severe pain in the abdomen.

Based on your risk factors and your personal and family health histories, your doctor may recommend testing you for high blood triglycerides with a routine blood test called a lipid panel. A lipid panel measures the total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in your blood. Your doctor may diagnose you with high blood triglycerides if your fasting blood triglyceride levels are consistently 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher. Normal fasting blood triglyceride levels are less than 75 mg/dL for children under the age of 10 and less than 90 mg/dL for children age 10 and older and adults.

If you are diagnosed with high blood triglycerides, your doctor may first recommend that you adopt heart-healthy lifestyle changes, such as healthy eating, which includes limiting alcohol, added sugars, and foods high in saturated or trans fats; getting regular physical activity; quitting smoking; and aiming for a healthy weight. Your doctor may also prescribe medicines such as fibrates, omega-3 fatty acids, nicotinic acid, or statins to control or lower your triglyceride levels.

Visit Triglycerides for more information about this topic.

Participate in NHLBI Clinical Trials

We lead or sponsor many studies on high blood triglycerides. See if you or someone you know is eligible to participate in our clinical trials.

Trials at the NIH Clinical Center

Exploring diagnostic tests for lipid disorders

This study is exploring how different diagnostic tests can help us understand how lipid disorders, including high blood cholesterol and high blood triglycerides, affect the body. Information from this study may help improve the way lipid disorders are diagnosed or treated in the future. Participants must be at least 2 years old. This study is located in Bethesda, Maryland.

Testing for cholesterol and other fats in the blood

This study is exploring how different diagnostic tests can help us understand how lipid disorders, including high blood cholesterol and high blood triglycerides, affect the body. Information from this study may help improve the way lipid disorders are diagnosed or treated in the future. Participants in this study must be at least 2 years old. The study is being conducted in Bethesda, Maryland.

High levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood

This study is looking at people who have high blood cholesterol and other fats (triglycerides) in their blood and at the particles that carry these fats through the bloodstream. Researchers will measure levels of cholesterol and other substances in the blood to find better ways to diagnose and treat patients with diseases involving blood cholesterol. Participants in this study must have been diagnosed with high blood cholesterol or triglycerides and be at least 2 years old. This study is located in Bethesda, Maryland.
View more information about Evaluation of Lipoproteins.

Studying genes in families that have high levels of cholesterol and other fats in the blood

This study is looking at the genes of people who have high levels of cholesterol and other lipids (triglycerides) in the blood to try to find gene changes that lead to these conditions. The study is also open to their family members. Participants in this study must be at least 2 years old. This study is located in Bethesda, Maryland. If a participant’s family member cannot travel to NIH, the study documents and consent form will be reviewed during a teleconference. A kit for collecting blood or sputum will be mailed to the relative.
View more information about Genes Involved in Lipid Disorders.

To learn more about clinical trials at the NIH Clinical Center or to talk to someone about a study that might fit your needs, call the Office of Patient Recruitment 800-411-1222.

Do you or your child have obesity and high blood cholesterol or triglycerides?

This study is testing the use of a statin in young people to see whether early treatment of high blood cholesterol can affect the risk of developing plaque in blood vessels. Participants in this study must be age 10-17, have a body mass index (BMI) in the obese range, be fluent in English, and not be pregnant. This study is located in Wilmington, Delaware; Washington, DC; Atlanta, Georgia; Indianapolis, Indiana; Boston, Massachusetts; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Cincinnati, Ohio; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Charleston, South Carolina; Houston, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; and Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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