The hypertriglyceridemias are a heterogeneous family of disorders due to disturbances in synthesis and/or degradation of triglycerides rich plasma lipoprotein. Triglycerides (TG) are fatty molecules of long-chain fatty acids and glycerol.
Normal triglycerides is less than 100 mg/dL (1.13 mmol/L) in children and less than 150 mg/dL (1.70 mmol/L) in adults.
Primary hypertriglyceridemia can be sporadic or genetic. Secondary hypertriglyceridemia is associated with several other diseases: obesity, diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, uremia/dialysis, hypothyroidism, nephrotic syndrome, acromegaly, Cushing's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosis, dysgammaglobulinemias, glycogen storage Type I, and lipodystropthy. Drugs associated with hypertriglyceridemia include: alcohol, estrogen, birth control pill, beta blockers, diuretics, glucocorticoid, and isotretinoin/retinoid. Bile acid binding resins cause a modest (<10%) elevation in some patients with Type II hyperlipidemia.
Risk factors for hypertriglyceridemia include: genetic susceptibility, obesity, diabetes, and alcoholism. Hypertriglyceridemia can be exacerbated by medical illness and/or drugs (see secondary causes).
Hypertriglyceridemia usually found on cardiovascular lab tests, and is considered a secondary disease. Lab tests would be ordered to find the primary disease, and would include: CBC, chemistry, fasting glucose, and thyroid function tests.
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