A growing amount of evidence has supported an association between elevated triglyceride levels and cardiovascular disease. However, little information regarding co-morbidities, levels of other cholesterol types, or medication use among adults with severe hypertriglyceridemia (SHTG; (500 to 2,000 mg/dl) is available. We examined the data from 5,680 subjects, ≥ 20 years old, who had participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2001 and 2006, to evaluate the epidemiology of adults with SHTG. Approximately 1.7% of the sample had SHTG, equating to roughly 3.4 million Americans. The participants with SHTG tended to be men (75.3%), non-Hispanic whites (70.1%), and aged 40 to 59 years (58.5%). More than 14% of those with SHTG reported having diabetes mellitus, and 31.3% reported having hypertension. Only 14% of the subjects with SHTG reported using statins, and 4.0% reported using fibrates. The factors significantly associated with having SHTG included high-density lipoprotein <40 mg/dl (odds ratio [OR) 11.45, 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.28 to 20.86), non-high-density lipoprotein 160 to 189 mg/dl (OR 9.74, 95% CI 1.68 to 56.40) or non-high-density lipoprotein ≥ 190 mg/dl (OR 24.99, 95% CI 3.90 to 160.31), diabetes mellitus (OR 3.04, 95% CI 1.45 to 6.37), and chronic renal disease (OR 7.32, 95% CI 1.45 to 36.94). In conclusion, SHTG is rare among adults in the United States and the use of pharmacologic intervention is low among those with SHTG.
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