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Screening For Hypertriglyceridemia Every Five Years Is Recommended

Adults should be screened for hypertriglyceridemia every five years, according to a Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) for the diagnosis and treatment of the condition, which has been issued today by the Endocrine Society in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).

Hypertriglyceridemia indicates high (hyper-) blood levels (-emia) of triglycerides, which are a type of fat found in the bloodstream and fat tissue, but too much of this fat can cause arteries to harden and narrow, resulting in an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

High triglycerides are most commonly caused by: lack of exercise being overweight the metabolic syndrome type 2 diabetes familial combined hyperlipidemia, a genetic disorder Lars Berglund, MD, PhD, of the University of California, Davis, and chair of the task force that authored the guideline, said:

"There is increasing evidence that high triglyceride levels represent a cardiovascular risk and in addition, very high triglyceride level is a risk factor for pancreatitis. The guideline presents recommendations for diagnosis of high triglyceride levels, and recommendations for management and treatment."

The CPG recommends: Adults should be screened for hypertriglyceridemia every 5 years as part of a lipid panel, because a severe case heightens the chance for pancreatitis, and mild hypertriglyceridemia may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Diagnosis should be based on fasting triglyceridemia levels and not on non-fasting levels. If any elevation of fasting triglycerides are found, a person should be examined for secondary causes of hyperlipidemia, including endocrine conditions and medications. The secondary causes should be the main focus of treatments. Other cardiovascular risk factors should be looked into if the patient has primary hypertriglycerides, such as liver dysfunction, central obesity, abnormalities of glucose metabolism, and hypertension. A family history of dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease should be checked into if the person has primary hypertriglycerides, in order to assess genetic causes and see if there is risk for cardiovascular disease in the future. Mild-to-moderate hypertriglyceridemia should initially be treated by lifestyle therapy, including dietary counseling to achieve diet composition, physical activity, and a program to help overweight individuals lose weight. A similar patient guide to this CPG has been published by The Hormone Health Network, explaining how hypertriglyceridemia effects the body and and outlines different treatment options.

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