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Effect of Desirable Fasting Triglycerides on the Postprandial Response to Dietary Fat
  1. Michael Miller,
  2. Min Zhan,
  3. Angeliki Georgopoulos
  1. 1From the Division of Cardiology (M.M., M.Z.), Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center/University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD;
  2. 2Department of Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center/University of Minnesota (A.G.), Minneapolis, MN.
  1. This work was supported by a VA Merit Award, National Institutes of Health Grant HL61369, and a Grant-In-Aid from the American Heart Association Mid-Atlantic Affiliate.
  2. Address for correspondence: Dr. Michael Miller, Division of Cardiology, Room S3B06, University of Maryland Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21201. E-mail: mmiller{at}


Background The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recently revised the “desirable” fasting triglyceride (TG) to < 150 mg/dL, and levels exceeding 200 mg/dL are defined as “high.”

Methods To evaluate the postprandial response to dietary fat, 50 studies were conducted in nonobese, normocholesterolemic subjects. Following an overnight fast, subjects consumed an oral fat load (70 g/m2), and postprandial triglyceride (ppTG) measurements were assessed at 2, 4, 6, and 8 hours. Subjects were divided by fasting TG cutpoints of 100 and 150 mg/dL.

Results The prevalence of ppTG samples exceeding 200 mg/dL was significantly lower with fasting TG < 100 mg/dL (n = 116) compared with TG 100 to 150 mg/dL (n = 56) (8% versus 25%; p = .004, chi-square analysis). In addition, fasting TG < 100 mg/dL (n = 29) was associated with a reduced mean 4-hour peak ppTG level compared with fasting TG > 100 mg/dL (n = 21) (125 mg/dL versus 249.8 mg/dL; p < .0001). Multiple linear regression analysis identified fasting TG as the most important determinant of the postprandial response after adjustment for other covariates (p = .0005).

Conclusions Because ppTG-rich lipoproteins contribute to coronary heart disease risk, fasting TG < 100 mg/dL may be a more desirable cutpoint than fasting TG < 150 mg/dL in coronary heart disease risk factor assessment.

Key Words
  • National Cholesterol Education Program
  • postprandial
  • triglycerides
  • lipoproteins
  • atherothrombosis

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