ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Traditional Chinese Therapy May Help Ease Eczema
Relaxation Tapes or Mozart Lower Blood Pressure
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
BONES & JOINTS
Bone Density Predicts Chances of Breast Cancer
Backpack Safety Should Be on Back-to-School Lists
Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
CANCER
Meditation May Reduce Stress in Breast Cancer Patients
Smoking Exposure Now Linked to Colon, Breast Cancers
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
CAREGIVING
Critically Ill Patients Lack Vitamin D
Hospital Practices Influence Which Moms Will Breast-Feed
3 Steps Might Help Stop MRSA's Spread
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Years of Exposure to Traffic Pollution Raises Blood Pressure
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Health Tip: Are You Anemic?
COSMETIC
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Mom's Vitamin D Levels Affect Baby's Dental Health
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
DIET, NUTRITION
Licorice May Block Absorption of Organ Transplant Drug
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
Compound in Berries May Lessen Sun Damage
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pesticides on Produce Tied to ADHD in Children
Pilots May Face Greater Cancer Risk
Green Areas Lower Health Inequities Between Rich, Poor
EYE CARE, VISION
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
Statin Drugs Cause Eye Disorders
Magnetic Pulses to Brain Improve Lazy Eye in Adults
FITNESS
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Adults Need To Get Thier Food Facts Straight
Swine Flu May Pose Problems for Pregnant Women
Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Imaging Sheds Light on How Acupuncture Works
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Safety Should Be Priority for Those Involved in Kids' Sports
Standard IQ Test May Underestimate People With Autism
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
Keeping a Healthy Holiday Balance
Positive Brain Changes Seen After Body-Mind Meditation
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Add your Article

High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans

MONDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- Many Americans have higher-than-recommended levels of the blood fats called triglycerides, and most aren't making the lifestyle changes necessary to bring those levels down, a study finds.

"Clearly, the focus in this country has been on cholesterol levels," said Dr. Earl S. Ford, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and lead author of a report in the March 23 Archives of Internal Medicine. "But there are a fair number of studies that suggest that triglycerides have a role in cardiovascular disease."

While just about everyone knows about the link between cholesterol and heart disease, few Americans seem concerned about triglycerides, which are the most common kind of fats in the body -- and in food.

Triglyceride levels aren't nearly as big a concern as cholesterol levels. While the journal report states that, "increasing evidence supports triglyceride concentration as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease," the report also hedges that a bit, saying, "if triglycerides are indeed a risk factor."

Nonetheless, the National Cholesterol Education Program offers a list of recommendations about blood triglyceride levels: that they are best kept under 150 milligrams per deciliter; considered borderline high between 150 and 199 milligrams per deciliter; and deemed high at 200 or greater.

Data on 5,610 Americans in National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys between 1999 and 2004 found that 33.1 percent of them had borderline high triglyceride levels; 17.9 percent had readings of 200 or higher; 1.7 percent came in at 500 or higher; and 0.4 percent were at 1,000 or higher, the study found.

Use of three triglyceride-lowering drugs was limited, with 2.6 percent of those in the borderline high group and 3.6 percent of those in the 200-and-higher group taking them. The drugs -- gembifrozil, niacin and fenofibrate --are also prescribed to raise levels of HDL cholesterol, the "good" kind that helps prevent artery blockage.

That may be just as well, Ford said. "Unlike LDL cholesterol, where we have all kinds of trials showing the benefits of statins against cardiovascular disease, there is not as strong a database for triglycerides," he said. "Until we get stronger evidence of benefit, drug treatment of triglycerides remains a little uncertain. Whether taking these drugs will reduce cardiovascular disease is unclear."

So the recommended treatment for elevated triglyceride levels is the kind of lifestyle recommended for high cholesterol levels, Ford said. Indeed, survey participants with high triglyceride levels tended to be overweight, inactive and smoke.

Losing weight, getting exercise, eating low-fat foods and giving up smoking apply to triglycerides as well, Ford said. An additional recommendation is to reduce consumption of alcohol, which promotes triglyceride production by the liver.

Dr. Stephen Nicholls, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, believes that triglycerides may deserve more scrutiny by physicians. "Many doctors are not sure about how aggressive they should be in treating elevated triglycerides," he said. "There are always other issues, such as obesity and smoking, involved. But we are understanding more and more that looking after triglycerides is important in providing heart care. If you look at large populations, those with high levels of triglycerides always do worse."

-Ed Edelson

More information

For more on triglycerides and what should be done about them, visit the American Heart Association.



SOURCES: Earl S. Ford, M.D., MPH, medical officer, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta; Stephen Nicholls M.D., Ph.D, cardiologist, Cleveland Clinic; March 23, 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine

Last Updated: March 23, 2009

Copyright 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

More articles at www.eholistic.com