Fasting cardiovascular test in doubt

Measuring fasting triglyceride levels may be of little use in assessing cardiovascular risk, suggest findings of two studies.

However, taking triglyceride measurements in the non-fasting state could predict the chances of a future cardiovascular event.

One was a prospective study of 26,509 healthy women in the US. During an average 11 years of follow-up, 1,001 cardiovascular events were recorded.

This showed that those in the highest tertile of non-fasting triglyceride levels at baseline were more than twice as likely to have a cardiovascular event than those in the lowest tertile.

Fasting triglyceride levels were also predictive of cardiovascular events, but the association was weakened after taking account of collected total and HDL cholesterol, as well as insulin resistance.

The other study, carried out in Denmark, involved 7,587 women and 6,394 men, who were followed up for 26 years, with non-fasting triglyceride levels measured at baseline.

During the study time, 1,793 participants had an MI, 3,479 developed CHD and 7,818 died.

Risk of all three outcomes was linked to higher non-fasting triglyceride levels.

For example, the risk of MI in women was about eight times higher in women with non-fasting glyceride levels above 5mmol/l, compared with those with levels below 1mmol/l.

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