Fewer Americans Have High Triglyceride Levels

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The numbers are encouraging, but many people are still at risk.
The numbers are encouraging, but many people are still at risk.

(HealthDay News) -- Americans' levels of triglycerides have dropped significantly in the past decade, according to a May data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

Margaret Carroll, M.S.P.H., and colleagues at the NCHS found that the percentage of adults with triglyceride levels 150 mg/dL or above declined from 33.3% in 2001-2004 to 25.1% in 2009-2012. There was an especially big dip in people aged 60 and over. Among men over 60, those with elevated numbers dropped from 39.9% in 2001-2004 to 24.8% in 2009-2012. In women over 60, 43.5% had high triglycerides in 2001-2004, and that went down to 30.9% for 2009-2012.

Triglyceride levels declined in obese men and women (from 48.0% for 2001-2004 to 38.7% for 2009-2012 and from 39.9% for 2001-2004 to 31.9% for 2009-2012, respectively). Decreasing trends in elevated triglyceride levels were also seen in overweight men and women (from 40.7% for 2001-2004 to 27.5% for 2009-2012 and from 34.0% for 2001-2004 to 22.9% for 2009-2012, respectively).

In Mexican-American women, levels of elevated triglyceride levels dropped from 39.1 to 27.8% during the study period. However, there were no significant improvements in elevated levels of triglycerides seen in Mexican-American men. There were also no significant drops in levels among black Americans. But, the percentage of blacks with high triglyceride levels was consistently lower than for whites and Mexican-Americans.


  1. NCHS Data Brief, Number 198, May 2015.

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