The independent relationship between triglycerides and coronary heart disease
Alan Morrison1, John E Hokanson2
1SCRIBCO, Blue Bell, PA, USA; 2Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado at Denver Denver, CO, USA
Aims: The aim was to review epidemiologic studies to reassess whether serum levels of triglycerides should be considered independently of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) as a predictor of coronary heart disease (CHD).
Methods and results: We systematically reviewed population-based cohort studies in which baseline serum levels of triglycerides and HDL-C were included as explanatory variables in multivariate analyses with the development of CHD (coronary events or coronary death) as dependent variable. A total of 32 unique reports describing 38 cohorts were included. The independent association between elevated triglycerides and risk of CHD was statistically significant in 16 of 30 populations without pre-existing CHD. Among populations with diabetes mellitus or pre-existing CHD, or the elderly, triglycerides were not significantly independently associated with CHD in any of 8 cohorts. Triglycerides and HDL-C were mutually exclusive predictors of coronary events in 12 of 20 analyses of patients without pre-existing CHD.
Conclusions: Epidemiologic studies provide evidence of an association between triglycerides and the development of primary CHD independently of HDL-C. Evidence of an inverse relationship between triglycerides and HDL-C suggests that both should be considered in CHD risk estimation and as targets for intervention.
Keywords: coronary heart disease, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, hypercholesterolemia
This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.Download Article [PDF]