ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
Naprapathy: A Hands-On Approach to Pain Management
ANIMAL CARE
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Genes May Help Drive Rotator Cuff Injury
Low Vitamin D Raises Women's Hip Fracture Risk
Yoga Can Ease Lower Back Pain
CANCER
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
Supplements Might Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
CAREGIVING
Depression, PTSD Common Among Lung Transplant Patient Caregivers
Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem
Many Hospital Patients Can't ID Their Doctors
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Drink a Little Wine, Live a Little Longer
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
DENTAL, ORAL
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Most Insured Adults Worry About Health Care Costs: Poll
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Drug May Not Help Diabetes-Related Eye Damage
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Your Refrigerator Getting Enough Attention For Your Raw Food Success?
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Warmer-Than-Average Temperatures Raise Migraine Risk
Exhaust From Railroad Diesel Linked to Lung Ailments
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
FITNESS
Bursts of Vigorous Activity Appear to Be a 'Stress-Buffer'
Have Fun This Summer, But DO Be Careful
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Eat Light - Live Longer
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
It Pays to Eat Less as You Age
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Chinese Red Yeast Rice May Prevent Heart Attack
Psychiatric Drugs Might Raise Cardiac Death Risk
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Babies Cared For In Others Homes Might Become Heavy Toddlers
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
SENIORS
15-Point Test Gauges Alzheimer's Risk
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Exercise, Weight Control May Keep Fibromyalgia at Bay
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