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Is high triglyceride level harmful for the heart?

Q: My wife was suffering from some breathing problem. The doctor advised her to undergo a blood test. The result of the test is as under: blood cholesterol - 159 mg%; HDL cholesterol - 40 mg%; CHO/HDL ratio - 3.98; triglycerides - 190 mg% (marked as high by the pathologist); LDL cholesterol - 81 mg% VLDL cholesterol- 38 mg%; RBC - 5.03 M/uL; Hb - 12.1 g/dl; MCV - 73.4 fL and MCH - 24.1 pg. The comment said it was microcytic anaemia. What are triglycerides? Are they harmful for heart? Also, I would like to know what microcytic anaemia is.

A:Fat in our body exists in several chemical forms, one of which is triglycerides (TG). They are the commonest type of fat and are the major source of energy. Triglycerides are derived from fats consumed in diet and are also synthesised in the body. Any excess calories consumed by us (fats, sugars or proteins), which are not used immediately are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells. When the body needs energy, these are then released by the action of hormones. The normal blood levels (in a fasting state) of TG are less than 150 mg/dl and levels greater than 200 mg/dl are labelled as high and greater than 500 mg/dl as very high. The levels may be raised in obesity, high alcohol intake, kidney disease, low thyroid gland activity, etc. Some medicines like contraceptive pills, steroids, beta blockers, diuretics, etc. may also cause an increase in TG levels. An elevated TG level is implicated in heart disease, stroke and risk of diabetes. Levels can be reduced by cutting down fat consumption, replacing butter / ghee with monounsaturated / polyunsaturated vegetable oils and regular daily exercise for at least 30 minutes. In case all this does not help, your doctor may prescribe lipid lowering drugs. Microcytic anaemia is a type of anaemia in which the size of red blood cells is smaller than normal. The most common cause for it in our country is iron deficiency.


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