What patient education should be provided regarding hypertriglyceridemia (high triglyceride levels)?

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

Patients often do not understand that triglycerides are a blood lipid that may be analyzed along with cholesterol. They should be informed about the risks of hypertriglyceridemia, including the increased risk of a cardiovascular event and risk of pancreatitis if levels are close to or above 1000 mg/dL.

Patients should be informed that triglycerides respond to the simple interventions of diet control, exercise, and appropriate weight loss. A trained dietitian should provide thorough diet instructions. Exercise counseling or monitoring may be helpful to treat the dyslipidemia and reduce the risk of symptomatic cardiovascular disease.

In addition, the provider should stress the importance of alcohol intake of no more than 1 drink per day, provide instructions on the use of medications, and provide comprehensive diabetes education to diabetic patients.

For patient education resources, Medscape Reference’s Cholesterol Center and Heart Health Center, as well as High Cholesterol, Understanding Your Cholesterol level, Lifestyle Cholesterol Management, Understanding Cholesterol-Lowering Medications, and Statins and Cholesterol.


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