Hypertriglyceridemia as a possible independent risk factor for stroke

Acta Clin Croat. 2013 Dec;52(4):458-63.


There are no reliable data on the relationship between ischemic stroke and elevated triglyceride levels. Results of previous studies have shown that elevated total cholesterol, high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) are modifiable risk factors for ischemic stroke. Recent evidence suggests that hypertriglyceridemia correlates with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly if the levels of HDL cholesterol are low and the levels of LDL cholesterol are high. The role of hypertriglyceridemia as an independent risk factor for stroke remains questionable, although correlation between elevated triglycerides and recurrent ischemic stroke has been established. Hypertriglyceridemia is an essential feature of metabolic syndrome, the most important risk factor for atherosclerosis and prothrombotic state, and both correlate with the increased risk of stroke. Lowering triglyceride levels might have a positive effect in stroke risk reduction. Efficacy of gemfibrozil was demonstrated in secondary stroke prevention in patients with coronary heart disease and elevated triglyceride levels. Fibrate derivatives might be utilized in primary stroke prevention, but their efficacy has not yet been established. There is substantial evidence to conclude that hypertriglyceridemia might be an independent risk factor for stroke, but additional studies are mandatory to confirm this presumption.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Coronary Disease / complications
  • Coronary Disease / drug therapy
  • Gemfibrozil / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / complications*
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / drug therapy*
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / prevention & control
  • Hypolipidemic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / drug therapy*
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Stroke / prevention & control
  • Triglycerides / blood*


  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Hypolipidemic Agents
  • Triglycerides
  • Gemfibrozil