Triglycerides are usually measured as part of a standard blood lipid profile. But what do the results mean?
So far, all we know is that triglycerides have been associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). But there is no definite proof that they alone are actually a specific risk factor.
However, most people with raised triglycerides have other major risk factors for CAD such as obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. This has made it difficult to sort out whether triglycerides are an independent risk factor.
The relationship between triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is complex. Whenever triglycerides are increased, HDL decreases. So it may be that part of the problem with raised levels of triglycerides is that they come with lower levels of HDL.
However, there is recent evidence to suggest that raised triglycerides alone pose a risk for CAD. This is particularly true when raised triglycerides are part of the so-called