Changes in triglyceride levels and risk for coronary heart disease in young men

Amir Tirosh, Assaf Rudich, Tzippora Shochat, Dorit Tekes-Manova, Eran Israeli, Yaakov Henkin, Ilan Kochba, Iris Shai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Current triglyceride levels might be only a weak predictor of risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). Objective: To assess the association between changes over time in fasting triglyceride levels and CHD risk in young adults. Design: Follow-up study over 5.5 years after 2 measurements of fasting triglycerides 5 years apart. Setting: The Staff Periodic Examination Center of the Israel Defense Forces, Zrifin, Israel. Patients: 13 953 apparently healthy, untreated, young men (age 26 to 45 years) with triglyceride levels less than 3.39 mmol/L (<300 mg/dL). Measurements: Two triglyceride measurements (at enrollment [time 1] and 5 years later [time 2]), lifestyle variables, and incident cases of angiography-proven CHD. Results: Within 5.5 years, 158 new cases of CHD were identified. The multivariate model was adjusted for age; family history; fasting glucose; high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; blood pressure; body mass index; and changes between time 1 and time 2 in body mass index, physical activity, smoking status, and habit of eating breakfast. Investigators categorized triglyceride levels according to low, intermediate, and high tertiles (as measured at time 1 and time 2 [expressed as tertile at time 1/tertile at time 2]). The risk for CHD in men with high-tertile triglyceride levels at time 1 changed depending on the tertile at time 2 (hazard ratios, 8.23 [95% CI, 2.50 to 27.13] for high/high, 6.84 [CI, 1.95 to 23.98] for high/intermediate, and 4.90 [CI, 1.01 to 24.55] for high/low, compared with the stable low/low group). The risk for CHD in men with low-tertile levels at time 1 also changed depending on the tertile at time 2 (hazard ratios, 3.81 [CI, 0.96 to 15.31] for low/intermediate and 6.76 [CI, 1.34 to 33.92] for low/high, compared with the stable low/low group). Limitations: Participants were healthy and had a low incidence rate of CHD. The study was observational. Conclusions: Two triglyceride measurements obtained 5 years apart may assist in assessing CHD risk in young men. A decrease in initially elevated triglyceride levels is associated with a decrease in CHD risk compared with stable high triglyceride levels. However, this risk remains higher than in those with persistently low triglyceride levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-385
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Internal Medicine
Volume147
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 18 Sep 2007

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