Cholesterol and triglycerides

Description: corticosteroids may result in higher levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. This increase does not trigger symptoms in the short-term. However, in the long-term this change may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Frequency: little is currently known about the frequency of cholesterol and triglyceride side effects on patients. Subjects at risk: it is likely that patients reporting weight gain caused by corticosteroids have a higher risk of experiencing increased cholesterol and triglycerides. Long versus short-term treatment: limiting the weight gain during cortisone therapy is probably a good way to prevent these side effects. In cases of hypertriglyceridemia or hypercholesterolemia, a healthy diet and a specific treatment plan may be prescribed. Screening: a blood test will easily allow your physician to make a diagnosis. Reversibility: cholesterol and triglyceride levels improve and return to normal levels when the cortisone treatment is reduced or stopped.

Useful references
  • el-Shaboury AH et al. Hyperlipidaemia in asthmatic patients receiving long-term steroid therapy. Br Med J. 1973
  • Ettinger WH Jr et al. Prednisone increases very low density lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein in healthy men. Metabolism. 1988
  • Becker DM et al. Relationship between corticosteroid exposure and plasma lipid levels in heart transplant recipients. Am J Med. 1988
  • Kuroki Y et al. Prospective short-term effects of glucocorticoid treatment on glucose and lipid metabolism in Japanese. Intern Med. 2010