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High Triglycerides

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


High Triglycerides

(Triglycerides, High; Hypertriglyceridemia; Hyperlipidemia; Dyslipidemia)


High triglycerides are high levels of a type of fat in the blood. Triglycerides come from certain fats in food. When levels of it are high, it can raise the risk of heart disease and stroke.


Causes of high triglycerides may be:

  • Genetic problems that cause the body to make too many triglycerides
  • Eating a lot of foods that raise triglyceride levels
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver disease

Risk Factors

High triglycerides are more common in older adults, especially men. Women who have gone through menopause also have a higher risk. Other things that may raise the risk are:


High triglyceride levels usually do not cause symptoms. Very high levels of can cause:

  • Belly pain
  • Nausea and vomiting—from acute pancreatitis

High triglyceride levels can raise the risk of atherosclerosis. This can block blood flow. In some people, this may result in serious problems, such as:

Blood Vessel with Atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosishttp://services.epnet.com/getimage.aspx?imageiid=25462546si55550977.jpgAtherosclerosisNULLjpgAtherosclerosisNULL\\filer01\Intellect\images\si55550977.jpgCopyright © 2002 Nucleus Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.25NULL2002-10-012553912546_T1643467033317Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Triglycerides can be measured in the blood. The test is done as part of a regular screening. For healthy adults, this may be every few years. Those with risk factors for heart disease may be screened more often. Young children may be screened if they are obese or have a family history of high triglycerides or high cholesterol. Regular screening may also be advised for older children.

Triglyceride screening is part of a fasting lipid profile blood test. It will include other measurements such as:


The goal of treatment is to lower triglyceride levels. It will also help to lower the risk for heart disease and stroke. Treatment options include:


The risk of high triglycerides may be lowered by:

  • Eating a heart healthy diet
  • Getting enough physical activity
  • Not smoking
  • Limiting alcohol
  • Managing chronic health problems, such as diabetes

Diet Changes

Certain foods and drinks can affect triglyceride levels. Diet changes may be:





  • Hypertriglyceridemia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hypertriglyceridemia.
  • Klempfner R, Erez A, et al. Elevated triglyceride level is independently associated with increased all-cause mortality in patients with established coronary heart disease: twenty-two-year follow-up of the bezafibrate infarction prevention study and registry. Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes. 2016 Mar;9(2):100-8.
  • What your cholesterol levels mean. American Heart Association website. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol/what-your-cholesterol-levels-mean.


  • Mark S. Itzkowitz, MD, JD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.