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Am J Med. 2014 Jan;127(1):36-44.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2013.09.018. Epub 2013 Oct 8.

Determining triglyceride reductions needed for clinical impact in severe hypertriglyceridemia.

Author information

Clinical Effectiveness and Safety, GlaxoSmithKline, Durham, NC. Electronic address:
US Health Outcomes, GlaxoSmithKline, Philadelphia, Pa.
Health Economics and Outcomes, OptumInsight, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Department of Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga.
Medicines Discovery & Development, GlaxoSmithKline, Durham, NC.
Clinical Effectiveness and Safety, GlaxoSmithKline, Philadelphia, Pa.



Patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and pancreatitis. Target triglyceride levels associated with clinical benefit for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia are not currently known. This study evaluates the association between lower follow-up triglyceride levels and incidence of clinical events for patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia.


By using claims data from 2 large US healthcare databases, we conducted a retrospective cohort study and identified 41,210 adults with severe hypertriglyceridemia (triglycerides ≥ 500 mg/dL) between June 2001 and September 2010. The date of the first severe hypertriglyceridemia laboratory result was the index date. Patients were categorized into 1 of 5 triglyceride ranges (<200 mg/dL, 200-299 mg/dL, 300-399 mg/dL, 400-499 mg/dL, and ≥ 500 mg/dL) based on a follow-up triglyceride level assessed 6 to 24 weeks after initial triglyceride levels were measured. Adjusted Cox regression models were developed to evaluate the impact of follow-up triglyceride levels on rates of pancreatitis episodes and cardiovascular events.


The mean age of patients was 50 years, 72% were male, and the mean follow-up was 825 days. Patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia with follow-up triglyceride levels <200 mg/dL experienced a lower rate of pancreatitis episodes (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 0.45; 95% confidence interval, 0.34-0.60) and cardiovascular events (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 0.71; 95% confidence interval, 0.64-0.78) with some clinical benefit in adults with severe hypertriglyceridemia with follow-up triglyceride levels 200 to 299 mg/dL and 300 to 399 mg/dL (P < .001 for trend).


We observed the greatest impact on clinical events among patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia with the lowest follow-up triglyceride levels.


Cardiovascular; Epidemiology; Pancreatitis; Severe hypertriglyceridemia

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