Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Do Triglyceride Tests Really Help Predict Heart Disease?


"This article is just one more shot in a controversial area," Rubins tells WebMD. "We've been trying to get to the bottom of this triglyceride issue for many years. I wouldn't want to have an elevated level of triglycerides myself, but there is not a lot we can do about it. We just haven't been able to get our arms around triglyceride measurements, and that suggests to me that it is not really a good test." Rubins is chief of general internal medicine at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.

Another noted specialist -- Scott M. Grundy, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas -- takes the opposite point of view. Grundy says that the study is just another in a series of analyses that miss the point.

"They might have the right answer but the wrong conclusion," Grundy tells WebMD. "Triglycerides are a marker for multiple risk factors for heart disease." He adds that they are a marker for heart disease, not necessarily a cause of the disease. "If they are a marker [for future heart disease], it doesn't mean you don't have trouble when the [level's] high. If you live in a tornado area and the siren goes off, you don't go out and treat the siren for going off. To say they are not a meaningful clinical marker is not correct."

Avins says that regardless of the predictive value of triglyceride tests, patients with higher-than-normal cholesterol levels or other risks of heart disease should take action. These include:

Although they are not conclusively proven to reduce heart disease, other important actions include moderate exercise and stress reduction.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure