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One Way to Treat Endothelial Dysfunction: Lowering Triglycerides

Curr Opin Lipidol. 2019 Oct;30(5):364-369.

Triglycerides and endothelial function: molecular biology to clinical perspective.

Kajikawa M1, Higashi Y1,2.


Division of Regeneration and Medicine, Medical Center for Translational and Clinical Research, Hiroshima University Hospital.


Department of Cardiovascular Regeneration and Medicine, Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan.



Recently, a high level of triglycerides has attracted much attention as an important residual risk factor of cardiovascular events. We will review and show the mechanisms underlying the association of endothelial dysfunction with hypertriglyceridemia and present clinical evidence for a relationship between endothelial function and triglycerides.


Clinical studies have shown that hypertriglyceridemia is associated with endothelial dysfunction. It is likely that hypertriglyceridemia impairs endothelial function through direct and indirect mechanisms. Therefore, hypertriglyceridemia is recognized as a therapeutic target in the treatment of endothelial dysfunction. Although experimental and clinical studies have shown that fibrates and omega-3 fatty acids not only decrease triglycerides but also improve endothelial function, the effects of these therapies on cardiovascular events are controversial.


Accumulating evidence suggests that hypertriglyceridemia is an independent risk factor for endothelial dysfunction. Triglycerides should be considered more seriously as a future target to reduce cardiovascular events. Results of ongoing studies may show the benefit of lowering triglycerides and provide new standards of care for patients with hypertriglyceridemia possibly through improvement in endothelial function.


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