(Dyslipidemia; High Triglycerides; Triglycerides, High)
by Rick Alan
Hyperlipidemia is a high level of fats in the blood. These fats, called lipids, include cholesterol and triglycerides. There are five types of hyperlipidemia. The type depends on which lipid in the blood is high.
Causes may include:
These factors increase your chance of developing this condition. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
Hyperlipidemia usually does not cause symptoms. Very high levels of lipids or triglycerides can cause:
Hyperlipidemia can increase your risk of atherosclerosis. This is a dangerous hardening of the arteries. It can end up blocking blood flow. In some cases, this may result in:
This condition is diagnosed with blood tests. These tests measure the levels of lipids in the blood. The National Cholesterol Education Program advises that you have your lipids checked at least once every five years, starting at age 20. Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends lipid screening for children at risk (eg, a family history of hyperlipidemia).
Testing may consist of a fasting blood test for:
Your doctor may recommend more frequent or earlier testing if you have:
Treatment is not only aimed at correcting your cholesterol levels, but also at lowering your overall risk for heart disease and strokes.
There are a number of drugs available, such as statins, to treat this condition and help lower your risk for heart disease. Talk to your doctor. Statins have been shown to reduce mortality (death), heart attacks, and stroke.
These medicines are best used as additions to diet and exercise and should not replace healthy lifestyle changes.
To help reduce your chance of getting hyperlipidemia, take the following steps:
American Heart Association
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
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US Department of Health and Human Services. Side effects of anit-HIV medications. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://aidsinfo.ni... . Published October 2005. Accessed July 8, 2008.
7/22/2008 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamicmedical.com/what.php : Daniels SR, Greer FR; Committee on Nutrition. Lipid screening and cardiovascular health in childhood. Pediatrics. 2008;122:198-208.
Last reviewed September 2011 by Michael J. Fucci, DO