Are hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels) and acute pancreatitis comorbidities?

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

Extreme elevations of triglycerides, usually well above 1000 mg/dL, may cause acute pancreatitis and all the sequelae of that condition. (A study by Pedersen et al indicated that even nonfasting mild to moderate hypertriglyceridemia [177 mg/dL or above] raises the risk for acute pancreatitis; the investigators found, for example, the multivariable adjusted hazard ratio for acute pancreatitis to be 2.3 for persons with triglyceride levels of 177-265 mg/dL. [34] ) However, many patients tolerate triglycerides of 4000 mg/dL or higher without developing symptoms. [35]


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