Narrator: This is Science Today. A new study suggests measuring levels of triglycerides, the most common fat in the body, are no help when it comes to predicting heart disease in men. Dr. Andrew Avins, of the University of California, San Francisco, says their findings contradict previous research, which indicated patients who had high cholesterol on top of high triglyceride levels, were at greater risk of heart disease.
Avins: We could find only very limited value in men for measuring triglycerides in order to get a good assessment of what an individual's risk for coronary heart disease.
Narrator: Because triglyceride levels remain controversial, Avins suggests focusing instead on lowering high cholesterol levels and other indisputable risk factors of heart disease.
Avins: Once the risk has been reduced substantially, the additional benefit of reducing triglycerides, even if it were valuable - that value is much diminished because of all the other things we've done. So I would encourage doctors and patients to maximize all the well proven methods for reducing coronary heart disease risk.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.