BMJ. 2020 Oct 12;371:m3109. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m3109.
Hypertriglyceridemia is one of the most common lipid abnormalities encountered in clinical practice. Many monogenic disorders causing severe hypertriglyceridemia have been identified, but in most patients triglyceride elevations result from a combination of multiple genetic variations with small effects and environmental factors. Common secondary causes include obesity, uncontrolled diabetes, alcohol misuse, and various commonly used drugs. Correcting these factors and optimizing lifestyle choices, including dietary modification, is important before starting drug treatment. The goal of drug treatment is to reduce the risk of pancreatitis in patients with severe hypertriglyceridemia and cardiovascular disease in those with moderate hypertriglyceridemia. This review discusses the various genetic and acquired causes of hypertriglyceridemia, as well as current management strategies. Evidence supporting the different drug and non-drug approaches to treating hypertriglyceridemia is examined, and an easy to adopt step-by-step management strategy is presented.