Harvard Heart Letter

Ask the doctor: What should I do about high triglycerides?

Q. On my last blood test, my triglycerides were 280. Should I be worried about that? My doctor wants me to start taking something called Lopid. Is there another solution?

A. Under the current national cholesterol guidelines, fasting triglycerides should be under 150 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Your level is almost twice that, and well into the high triglycerides category, which begins at 200 mg/dL.

The amount of triglycerides in the bloodstream rises after a meal and then falls as the triglycerides are processed and used for energy or stored as fat. Triglycerides are usually measured after an overnight fast. If yours were measured relatively soon after eating, you might want to redo the test.

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