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Am J Clin Nutr. 1978 Aug;31(8):1437-52.

Triglycerides in clinical medicine. A review.


There have been many relevant advances in our knowledge of triglycerides as they apply to clinical medicine. Some of the basic concepts of triglyceride metabolism are reviewed in a context of clinical applicability. Hypertriglyceridemia may be associated with dramatic symptoms and signs such as acute abdominal pain, hepatosplenomegaly, and neuromuscular abnormalities, or it may be asymptomatic until an atherosclerotic complication occurs. There is an increased risk of atherosclerosis with elevated endogenous triglycerides, but it is not clear if this is due to triglycerides per se, or the cholesterol content of the common lipoprotein that transports both lipids. Serum triglycerides are affected by diverse underlying disorders. Several factors play a role in the pathogenesis of hypertriglyceridemia including diet, body weight, genetic influences, glucose metabolism, and insulin concentrations. Treatment by diet and/or drugs is quite effective in relieving many of the clinical manifestations of hypertriglyceridemia. Whether a beneficial effect also occurs in atherosclerosis is still unknown.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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