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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 September 29; 335(7621): 639.
PMCID: PMC1995503
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Triglycerides have an independent effect on risk of heart disease

The evidence is mounting that the serum concentration of triglycerides is an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease. The latest data are from nearly 14 000 young Israeli men who took part in a prospective cohort study with a mean follow-up of more than 10 years. The authors measured triglyceride concentrations twice, so they were able to track the effect of changes on the risk of heart diseasedisease.

figure scut2909.f3

Men with high values at the start of the study were significantly more likely to develop heart disease—detected by angiography—than men with lower values. But their risk fell if the second triglyceride concentration five years later was lower than the first. An increase in triglyceride concentrations between the two tests was associated with increasing risk. All findings were adjusted for known risk factors including other serum lipids. Men with consistently low concentrations of triglyceride had the lowest risk of heart disease.

An editorial says these results are important, not least because triglycerides are so closely linked to obesity (p 425). Losing weight and taking more exercise is one of the best ways to keep triglycerides under control. In this study, lower concentrations were also associated with eating a decent breakfast.


  • Ann Intern Med 2007;147:377-85

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