Wednesday, April 20, 2011

American Heart Association Lowers Triglyceride target to 100mg/dl from 150mg/dl

In a newly released scientific statement on triglycerides, the AHA recommends that 100 mg/dL replace 150 mg/dL as the upper limit for the “optimal level” for triglycerides. But, the statement acknowledges, the cut point should not be used as a therapeutic target for drug therapy, “because there is insufficient evidence that lowering triglyceride levels” can improve risk. Instead, the statement puts a large emphasis on lifestyle changes, especially with diet and exercise, to cut triglycerides and reduce risk.

The new statement “is not intended to serve as a specific guideline,” according to the AHA, but instead “will be of value” to the Adult Treatment Panel IV (ATP IV) of the National Cholesterol Education Program, which will be available for public review and comment this fall and is expected to be published in the spring of 2012.
“The good news is that high triglycerides can, in large part, be reduced through major lifestyle changes,” said the chair of the committee, Michael Miller, in an AHA press release. “In contrast to cholesterol, where lifestyle measures are important but may not be the solution, high triglycerides are often quite responsive to lifestyle measures that include weight loss if overweight, changes in diet and regular physical activity.”
The statement includes specific recommendations for reducing added sugar, fructose, saturated fat, trans fat, and alcohol for those with elevated triglycerides. According to the statement, 31% of US adults have triglyceride levels greater than 150 mg/dL