Does hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels) increase the risk for atherosclerotic disease?

Updated: Jul 23, 2021
  • Author: Mary Ellen T Sweeney, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Answer

Counterintuitively, despite exceedingly high elevations of triglyceride and, in some cases, of total cholesterol, these mutations do not appear to confer an increased risk of atherosclerotic disease. This fact may have contributed to the unfounded belief that hypertriglyceridemia is not a risk factor for atherosclerotic disease. Although chylomicrons contain far less cholesterol than other triglyceride-rich lipoproteins do, when serum triglyceride levels are severely elevated, cholesterol levels can also be quite high.


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