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Americans Unaware of Significance of Triglycerides

A survey conducted by the National Lipid Association (NLA) has revealed that 87% of patients are unaware of the importance of high triglycerides in risk of heart disease. Fewer than half say they have discussed the topic with their physicians. "NLA spokesman Dr. Jerome D. Cohen of St. Louis University Health Sciences Center stated that, "We need to get physicians and consumers… more educated about the importance of triglycerides in heart disease.

The survey, which involved 2,089 patients and 510 physicians, revealed that 17% of physicians are unaware of the National Cholesterol Education Program’s triglyceride recommendations. Results also show that only 83% of physicians are aware that the triglyceride target level is below 150 mg/mL. Only 13% of patients were aware of the cut-off value.

Two-thirds of physicians (67%) said that they discuss the importance of controlling triglyceride levels with their patients, yet only 43% of patients recall having had such a conversation. However, one positive finding was that patients who remembered the discussion were more likely to be aware of target values.

Fewer women than men were aware of the importance of controlling triglyceride levels, despite the fact that hypertriglyceridemia is associated with a higher risk of heart disease for women than men. Furthermore, only 15% of diabetics were aware of the cut-off value for triglycerides.

"The real message," concluded Dr. Cohen is "that high triglycerides are treatable." A suitable education program, he added, "can be modeled after the cholesterol education program, which was modeled after the blood pressure program that was established in 1972."

Survey conducted by the National Lipid Association (NLA)

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