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Acceptable: Less than 90 mg/dL (1.02 mmol/L) Borderline high: 90-129 mg/dL (1.02-1.46 mmol/L) High: Greater than 130 mg/dL (1.47 mmol/L) For young adults older than 19. Acceptable: Less than 115 mg/dL (1.30 mmol/L) Borderline high: 115-149 mg/dL (1.30-1.68 mmol/L) High: Greater than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) Note: These values are based on fasting triglyceride levels. When triglycerides are very high (greater than 1000 mg/dL (11.30 mmol/L)), there is a risk of developing pancreatitis in children and adults.

Treatment to lower triglycerides should be started as soon as possible. If you are diabetic and your blood sugar (glucose) is out of control, triglycerides may be very high. Triglycerides change dramatically in response to meals, increasing as much as 5 to 10 times higher than fasting levels just a few hours after eating. Therefore, modest changes in fasting triglycerides measured on different days are not considered to be abnormal. Certain drugs such as corticosteroids, protease inhibitors for HIV, beta blockers, and estrogens can increase blood triglyceride levels. There is increasing interest in measuring triglycerides in people who have not fasted. The reason is that a non-fasting sample may be more representative of the "usual" circulating level of triglyceride since most of the day blood lipid levels reflect post-meal (post-prandial) levels rather than fasting levels. However, it is not yet certain how to interpret non-fasting levels for evaluating risk so, at present, there is no change in the current recommendations for fasting prior to tests for lipid levels.

For many people, high triglycerides are caused by another disorder, such as diabetes, obesity, renal failure, or alcoholism. With these conditions, the strategy is to treat the primary cause. When high triglycerides are not caused by another disorder, they are often seen together with high cholesterol and treatment is directed toward lowering both cholesterol and triglycerides. Lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and increased exercise, are usually the primary strategy for lowering levels. If these fail, lipid-lowering medications such as statins are generally recommended. For more on this, visit the American Heart Association's webpage on Healthy Living. A few products are available to test lipid levels, including triglycerides, at home. There are two types of home testing: those where you collect the sample at home and then mail it away to a laboratory for testing and those where you conduct the test yourself at home (self-monitoring). The American Heart Association hasn't taken a position on the use of home testing devices for measuring lipid levels. Before making the decision to use one of these products, you may want to review the article about home testing on this site: With Home Testing, Consumers Take Charge of Their Health. Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) is one of the major lipoprotein particles. Others include high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Each one of these particles contains a mixture of cholesterol, protein, and triglyceride but in varying amounts unique to each type of particle. Since VLDL contains most of the circulating triglyceride and since the compositions of the different particles are relatively constant, it is possible to estimate the amount of VLDL-cholesterol by dividing the triglyceride value (in mg/dL) by 5. At present, there is no simple, direct way of measuring VLDL-cholesterol, so the estimate calculated from triglyceride is used in most settings. This calculation is not valid when the triglyceride is greater than 400 mg/dL. Increased levels of VLDL-cholesterol have been found to be associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Usually, most people with high triglyceride levels have no symptoms and the only means of discovering a high level is with blood tests. However, in rare cases, a person may have an extremely high level of triglycerides (well above 1000 mg/dL) sustained over time and the individual may experience repeated bouts of acute pancreatitis. Some of the signs and symptoms include pain in the upper half of the stomach area that develops suddenly and then gradually gets worse, fever, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes jaundice. A person with severely high levels may also develop lesions on the skin called xanthomas. These typically appear as several small, round, solid, yellow bumps mostly on the back, chest, buttocks, shoulders and thighs. Available online at How High Is Too High for Triglycerides and Cardiovascular Risk?

Available online at Available online at Available online at Available online at Fasting or Nonfasting Lipid Measurements It Depends on the Question. Available online at

Mosby's Diagnostic and Laboratory Test Reference 5th Edition: Mosby, Inc., Saint Louis, MO. Available online at


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