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Surprising Facts On Fats

El Centro, California (NAPSI) - Cholesterol levels have long been the focus in promoting  heart health, but many people may be surprised to learn that elevated triglycerides, affecting  approximately a third of all Americans, are also a risk factor.

Although  heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women, there are  large gaps in understanding it.

A new survey by the Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll  revealed:

• While 75 percent of respondents are aware of their total  cholesterol numbers, only 37 percent of respondents know their triglyceride  levels.

• More than half don’t know whether high or low levels of triglycerides are better.

• Approximately three of four could not explain what triglycerides  are or what role they play in heart health.

• Only 1 percent were aware that prescription omega-3 fatty acids,  taken under the guidance of a health care professional, can reduce high  triglyceride levels.

• Only 2 percent were aware that a common omega-3, known as DHA, may  raise “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.

• While millions take omega-3 dietary supplements, nearly two-thirds  of respondents are unaware that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not  approved these products for lowering triglycerides or any other heart-disease  risk management factor.

“Triglyceride levels can be an important risk factor for heart and  vascular disease, yet most consumers have little awareness of these  often-forgotten fats,” said Eliot A. Brinton, M.D., Director of  Atherometabolic Research at the Utah Foundation for Biomedical Research and  President of the American Board of Clinical Lipidology. “Health care  professionals have done a fairly good job educating patients about  cholesterol, but we need to do more to teach about triglycerides and their role in  cardiovascular disease and its prevention.

“Managing triglycerides effectively requires a multipronged  approach. Diet and lifestyle changes are always needed, and one or more  prescription medications may be required,” added Dr. Brinton. “Patients  with high triglycerides need to talk with their doctors about all the  treatment options, and should not decide on their own to take omega-3 dietary  supplements as a substitute for prescription omega-3 products.”

To help remedy this, a new online resource has been created. Go to to learn more  about this “forgotten fat.”