BOSTON — Science behind triglyceride and HDL modification is still unclear and ongoing, but lifestyle modification is a positive way to improve lipid parameters, according to Robert H. Eckel, MD, co-chair of the Cardiometabolic Health Congress.
“This is an area in lipid and lipoprotein-related science that’s really problematic for the practicing physician. He or she has decisions to make about LDL cholesterol that are reasonably well-based and although we’re getting lower all the time, the exact level of HDL cholesterol that we achieve is not clear, but what about triglycerides,” Eckel, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus and past president of the American Heart Association, said. “We have no solid clinical trial evidence of when to treat hypertriglyceridemia, how low should we go and if, in fact, there’s benefit to follow.”
According to Eckel, although there is little information on how much lifestyle modification affects HDL and CVD outcomes, being more active, being leaner and drinking alcohol sparingly are positive ways to raise HDL levels.
“Using HDL cholesterol to target for therapy is not there [at this] time, but that doesn’t mean a successful lifestyle modification ... [can’t] change HDL in a way that can benefit outcomes,” he said.