Triglycerides are a kind of fat stored in the fat cells. They are released for energy. The calories that are not used by the body are converted into triglycerides. Hypertriglyceridemia is a condition in which the levels of triglycerides are high. This condition can develop if a person consumes extra calories in the form of fats and carbohydrates. In order to keep the heart healthy, apart from monitoring cholesterol and high blood pressure, monitoring the levels of triglycerides is also necessary because a high level of triglycerides is another risk factor for heart disease. A Triglycerides Test measures the levels of triglycerides in the blood.
Why is the test ordered?
As a part of lipid profile, the test is ordered to assess the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in an individual and to make treatment decisions when the risk is borderline or high. The test can also be used to monitor individuals who have some risk factors for heart disease or who have been undergoing treatment for high triglycerides or high lipid levels.
When is the test recommended?
The test may be recommended for individuals with some identified risk factors for heart disease including obesity, sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, age (45 and above for men and 55 and above for women), family history of heart disease and pre-existing heart disease.
The test may also be ordered to monitor the effectiveness of drug therapy or/and lifestyle changes that have been implemented as parts of lipid lowering measures.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
It is advisable to fast for at least 10 to 12 hours before taking the test. Fatty foods, alcohol and exercise should be avoided prior to the test. Furthermore, it is better to inform the doctor about all the medicines and supplements one is taking before undergoing the test.