Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Nonfasting Trigylceride Levels and Risk for Heart Disease

Nonfasting Trigylceride Levels Seem Better at Defining Risk for Heart Disease

Two studies measuring triglycerides in the nonfasting state show a strong association between elevated levels and risk for cardiovascular disease or death. Both appear in today's JAMA.

One study, using a population sample from Copenhagen, followed nearly 14,000 men and women for an average of 26 years. Researchers found that the risk for MI, ischemic heart disease, or death increased with increasing levels of nonfasting triglycerides, especially among women.

Another study, performed within the Women's Health Initiative, followed some 26,500 women for a median of 11 years and compared the effects of fasting versus nonfasting triglycerides on risk for cardiovascular events. When measured in the nonfasting state (especially 2 to 4 hours postprandially), triglyceride levels showed a strong, independent association with future risk, which persisted in fully adjusted analyses. Fasting levels, according to the authors, "showed little independent association with cardiovascular events."

According to an editorialist, the results "suggest that using 2- to 4-hour postprandial triglyceride measurements may be more predictive [of risk] than LDL-C."


JAMA article on risk in Copenhagen population (Free abstract; full text requires subscription)

JAMA article on risk in Women's Health Initiative participants (Free abstract; full text requires subscription)

JAMA editorial (Subscription required)

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