Familial hypertriglyceridemia is a common disorder passed down through families in which the level of triglycerides (a type of fat) in a person’s blood are higher than normal.
The condition is not associated with a significant increase in cholesterol levels.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Familial hypertriglyceridemia is caused by a genetic defect, which is passed on in an
Some people with this condition also have high levels of
Familial hypertriglyceridemia does not usually become noticeable until puberty or early adulthood. Obesity, hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels), and high levels of insulin are often also present and may cause even higher triglyceride levels. Alcohol and estrogen use can make the condition worse.
You are more likely to have this condition if you have a family history of hypertriglyceridemia or heart disease before age 50.
You may not notice any symptoms. Some people with the condition may have coronary artery disease at an early age.
Signs and tests
The doctor or nurse will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your family history and symptoms.
If you have a family history of this condition, you should have blood tests to check
The goal of treatment is to control conditions that can raise triglyceride levels such as
Your doctor may tell you not to drink alcohol. Because certain birth control pills can raise triglyceride levels, you should carefully discuss their use with your doctor.
Treatment also involves avoiding excess calories and foods high in saturated fats and carbohydrates. See also:
If high triglyceride levels persist despite diet changes, medication may be needed. Nicotinic acid, gemfibrozil, and fenofibrate have been shown to lower triglyceride levels in people with this condition.
Losing weight and keeping diabetes under control helps improve the outcome.
- Coronary artery disease
Screening family members for