Heart 99:22-29 doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2012-302689
  • Original articles
    • Secondary prevention of coronary disease

Mortality risk of triglyceride levels in patients with coronary artery disease

Editor's Choice
  1. Hiroyuki Daida1
  1. 1Departments of Cardiology, Juntendo University, School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2Departments of Cardiovascular Surgery, Juntendo University, School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hiroyuki Daida, Department of Cardiology, Juntendo University, School of Medicine, 2-1-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8421, Japan; daida{at}
  • Received 3 July 2012
  • Revised 21 August 2012
  • Accepted 21 August 2012
  • Published Online First 26 September 2012


Objective The association between triglyceride level and the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) remains controversial. In particular, the prognostic significance of triglyceride levels in established CAD is unclear. We aimed to assess the relationship between triglyceride levels and long-term (>10 years) prognosis in a cohort of patients after complete coronary revascularisation.

Design Observational cohort study.

Setting Departments of cardiology and cardiovascular surgery in a university hospital.

Patients Consecutive patients who had undergone complete revascularisation between 1984 and 1992. All patients were categorised according to the quintiles of fasting triglyceride levels at baseline.

Main outcome measures The risk of fasting triglyceride levels for all-cause and cardiac mortality was assessed by multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analyses.

Results Data from 1836 eligible patients were assessed. There were 412 (22.4%) all-cause deaths and 131 (7.2%) cardiac deaths during a median follow-up of 10.5 years. Multivariable analyses including total and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and other covariates revealed no significant differences in linear trends for all-cause mortality according to the quintiles of triglyceride (p for trend=0.711). However, the HR increased with the triglyceride levels in a significant and dose-dependent manner for cardiac mortality (p for trend=0.031). Multivariable analysis therefore showed a significant relationship between triglyceride levels, when treated as a natural logarithm-transformed continuous variable, and increased cardiac mortality (HR 1.51, p=0.044).

Conclusions Elevated fasting triglyceride level is associated with increased risk of cardiac death after complete coronary revascularisation.