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Triglycerides

Do They Matter?

Scordo, Kristine PhD, ACNP-BC, FAANP; Pickett, Kim Anne MS, RN, FNP-BC, CDE

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: January 2017 - Volume 117 - Issue 1 - p 24–31
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000511539.37103.0b
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Since the introduction of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, also known as statins, as an adjunct to diet in the treatment of hyperlipidemia and the greater emphasis placed on reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in the prevention of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD), there has been less focus on the value of lowering serum triglyceride levels. Many patients are aware of their “good” and “bad” cholesterol levels, but they may not be aware of their triglyceride level or of the association between high triglycerides and the development of CVD. In recent years, however, in light of the increasing incidences of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes, lowering triglyceride levels has gained renewed interest. In addition to the focus on lowering LDL cholesterol levels in CVD prevention, clinicians need to be aware of the role of triglycerides—their contribution to CVD, and the causes and treatment of hypertriglyceridemia.

The authors discuss the importance of lowering triglyceride levels in light of the increasing incidences of obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes, and review the lifestyle changes and pharmacologic treatments that can help achieve this goal.

Kristine Scordo is professor and director of the adult-gerontology acute care NP program in the College of Nursing at Wright State University in Dayton, OH. Kim Anne Pickett is a family NP at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System in Spartanburg, SC. Contact author: Kristine Scordo, kscordo@cinci.rr.com. The authors and planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

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