At normal levels, triglycerides are healthy. Doctors recommend that men and women have their cholesterol and triglycerides tested at least every five years, beginning at age 20. Find your range, from 150 (mg/dL) to 500(mg/dL) on the chart below:


Triglyceride Level (mg/dL)

What It Means for You


Less than 150

You can reduce your risk for future problems with a healthy lifestyle, which includes maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular physical activity, limiting alcohol, not smoking, and eating a healthy diet.

Borderline High

150 to 199

This level is typically due to lifestyle factors. It's generally treated with lifestyle changes. If other diseases (such as diabetes, kidney disease, or an underactive thyroid) or medications (such as beta blockers or corticosteroids) are contributing to the problem, they should be addressed, too.


200 to 499

This level is typically caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors. Many people with high triglycerides also have other risk factors for heart disease, such as a large waistline and insulin resistance, which may lead to diabetes. Lifestyle change is the first-choice treatment. Medications are also sometimes prescribed.

Very High

500 and up

This level is typically caused by a combination of lifestyle and genetic factors. People with very high triglycerides often have type 2 diabetes and other risk factors for heart disease. When triglyceride levels exceed 1,000 mg/dl, there is an increased risk for acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). A very high triglyceride level is generally treated with a combination of lifestyle changes and medication.

Medical Reviewer: Louise Spadaro, MD Last Annual Review Date: 2010-01-07T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright: © 2000-2010 The StayWell Company, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Reference: Cholesterol section on Better Medicine

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Everyone should have their triglyceride levels tested starting at age 20.