Harvard Health Letter

Should you worry about high triglycerides?

These blood fats can be one of the signs of metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk for having a heart attack or stroke.

Doctors are seeing lots of hungry patients these days, and it's not because people don't have enough to eat.

Before their appointments, patients are fasting for 9–12 hours because that's the only way to get an accurate lipid profile, the blood test that generates measurements of total cholesterol, "good" HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Lipid profiles have become increasingly popular because of the emphasis on lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol, and your LDL level can be calculated from a lipid profile.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »