Hypertriglyceridemia is associated with an elevated blood viscosity Rosenson: triglycerides and blood viscosity

Atherosclerosis. 2002 Apr;161(2):433-9. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9150(01)00656-6.


Elevated blood viscosity is a predictor of cardiovascular disease. The major determinants of blood viscosity are hematocrit and plasma viscosity. Plasma triglycerides elevate plasma viscosity; however, the contribution of plasma triglycerides to blood viscosity after adjustment for other major covariates has not been reported. This cross-sectional study of 257 adult subjects evaluated the associations between fasting plasma lipids, fibrinogen, total serum protein, hematocrit and blood viscosity. Blood viscosity was measured at 37 degrees C with a coaxial cylinder microviscometer at shear rates of 100 and 1 s(-1). Blood viscosity values are reported both as uncorrected measurements and measurements corrected to a hematocrit of 45% by a regression equation. Uncorrected blood viscosity at a shear rate of 100 s(-1) was significantly associated with triglycerides, fibrinogen, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, total serum protein, and hematocrit using stepwise multivariate regression analysis. When corrected blood viscosity at 100 s(-1) was the dependent variable, there were statistically significant associations with triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and total serum protein. Corrected blood viscosity at 1 s(-1) was significantly associated with triglycerides, fibrinogen, total serum protein, and an indicator variable for diabetes mellitus. This study supports an additional mechanism whereby triglycerides may contribute to cardiovascular risk.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood Viscosity / physiology*
  • Coronary Disease / blood*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Fibrinogen / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Probability
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sampling Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Triglycerides
  • Fibrinogen