To understand the function and test results of the triglyceride test better, click here to check out our guide packed with information and a free template. 

By Patricia Buenaventura on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by RJ Gumban.

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What is a Triglycerides Test?

A triglycerides test, also known formally as a serum triglycerides test, is a medical test included in a diagnostic procedure that involves measuring the triglyceride levels in a patient’s blood. There’s a need to measure triglycerides, a type of lipid or fat in the bloodstream and stored in the body's fat cells, serving as an essential energy source when needed. Generally, it’s crucial for assessing the lipid profile of an individual, which can help with evaluating their cardiovascular health.

Specifically, the triglycerides test gauges one’s risk of developing heart disease. The higher the triglyceride level, in addition to other cardiovascular factors, the more likely they are to develop atherosclerosis which is an accumulation of fatty deposits within the arteries. Should the condition be unchecked, the patient will have an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Preparing for the test is pretty simple and straightforward. The patient will be asked to fast from 9 to 14 hours before the test and possibly discontinue certain medications that may affect results. Conducting the triglycerides test is similar to other blood tests wherein they collect a blood sample through a vein. As for frequency, one is recommended to undergo a lipid profile, which commonly includes a triglycerides test, every five years every time the patient has a routine medical checkup. However, the frequency may increase if the patient is receiving medication for their elevated levels or is diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes to manage their conditions effectively.

How does it work?

Step One. Secure a Copy of the Template

Acquire a copy of both the digital and printable versions of the triglycerides test to fill out when needed. Access and download the template by following either of the steps below:

  • Click the “Download Template” or “Use Template” button
  • Search for “Triglycerides” on Carepatron’s template library’s search bar on the website or app

Step Two. Fill Out the Request

Before you request a triglyceride test, it’s best if you interview, assess, or examine your patient. If you think they’ll benefit from the test because of their symptoms or medical history, fill out the request form section in the template. You may also complete the template if the patient needs a routine checkup.

Step Three. Give the Form

Either the practitioner or charge or your patient can give the completed request form to the person responsible for collecting the sample. It will be used as proof of request for the test.

Step Four. Note Analysis and Interpretation

After the blood sample has been processed and you’ve received the results, you may proceed to note down your analysis and interpretation. For accessibility of information purposes, you may use the same template carrying the request form as the document to write down your findings and next steps.

Step Five. Securely Store the Template

When you’re through, securely store the completed template. We recommend that you store these documents in a place where you can easily retrieve them. For digital copies, store them in Carepatron, a software that can safeguard electronic patient records.

When would you use this test?

Healthcare practitioners may request and use the triglycerides test for multiple clinical reasons and scenarios like the following:

Routine Checkup

Since the triglycerides test is typically included in a lipid profile, healthcare providers can request it during a regular checkup often or, as recommended, every five years for those who are healthy. Doing tests will establish a baseline for lipid levels and assess cardiovascular health.

Risk Assessment

Adults over 65 and children with heart disease risk factors due to their weight, family history of early heart disease, and conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure may require a triglycerides test. Requesting and undergoing a triglycerides test can help a practitioner assess their risk of heart disease/ante sclerosis, identify potential risk factors, monitor their cardiovascular health, and formulate early interventions.

Monitoring and Managing

Patients receiving medication because of high cholesterol or elevated triglycerides may undergo the test more frequently to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment to make the necessary adjustments. Aside from those, patients with prediabetes or diabetes may be asked to undergo frequent testing to monitor their triglyceride levels because the results may indicate poorly controlled blood sugar levels.

What do the results mean?

Analysis and interpretation must consider the patient’s context, medical history, and other test results. However, if you need general guidelines to keep in mind when evaluating one’s health, assessing the risk of cardiovascular disease, etc., keep reading for more details:

  • Normal: When a patient has triglyceride levels less than 150 mg/dL or 1.7 mmol/L, the test results are considered normal, indicating a lower risk of a heart condition or disease.
  • Borderline High: If the patient’s level ranges from 150 to 199 mg/dL or 1.8 to 2.2 mmol/L, they have borderline high levels, indicating a slight increase in the risk of cardiovascular issues.
  • High: If a patient’s level falls within the range of 200 to 499 mg/dL or 2.3 to 5.6 mmol, they have high levels, and they have a high risk of developing arteriosclerosis which can lead to heart attack, heart disease, or increased risk of having a stroke.
  • Very High: If a patient’s levels are equal to or above 500 mg/dL or 5.7 mmol/L, they have extremely high levels, and not only are they greatly at risk of having a heart condition or disease, they may also develop pancreatitis and complications alongside the disease.
Who typically requests a Triglycerides Test?
Who typically requests a Triglycerides Test?

Commonly asked questions

Who typically requests a Triglycerides Test?

General physicians, their assistants, and nurses, especially ones who are caring for patients who have pre-diabetes, diabetes, heart disease/condition, or are at risk of developing any of these, are the ones who typically request a triglycerides test. 

When are Triglycerides Tests used?

Triglyceride tests are used during routine checkups, risk assessments, and monitoring or managing a disease or condition wherein the triglycerides are impacted. 

How long does a Triglycerides Test take?

Typically, the turnaround time for a triglycerides test is one business day. However, do take note that it may take longer, depending on the laboratory processing the sample.

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