Triglycerides Test

Triglycerides test helps to measure the level of triglycerides in the blood. Increased triglyceride levels are found in your blood after you eat. This is because, the body converts the unused energy into fat. This blood tests are done to identify the risk of heart disease. Certain factors contribute to elevated triglycerides and the risk of cardio vascular disease, including being overweight, consuming excess alcohol, lack of exercise, smoking cigarettes, and also medical conditions like kidney disease and diabetes.

When is the test ordered?

It is recommended for every five years to know the risk of heart disease in adults. Often test for triglycerides is not ordered alone, as heart disease is also associated with cholesterol levels.

This test is ordered for people who have been identified with risk factors of heart disease, who are with high levels of triglycerides and are undergoing treatment for it, in order to monitor treatment. For adolescents and children at low risk, usually triglyceride testing is not ordered routinely.

What does the test result mean?

For adults, results for triglyceride test are categorised as follows:
Values less than 150 mg/dL is to be considered normal
150 to 199 mg/dL is considered to be borderline high
200 to 499 mg/dL is considered to be high
Greater than 500 mg/dL is considered to be very high

The above values are based upon fasting triglycerides level.

High levels of triglycerides are associated with high risk of developing heart disease. There are several causes for elevated triglycerides which include:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Being overweight, physically inactive or obese
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • Genetic factors
  • Conditions such as kidney disease or type 2 diabetes

Pancreatitis may develop if the triglycerides level is very high. Treatment to lower their levels should begin as soon as possible, as it may result in several problems. The categories for results of triglycerides for adolescents and children are different from the results of adults. Consult your child’s pediatrician and talk about your child’s results.

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