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Most Consumers Unaware that Management of High Triglyceride Levels Is Important for Cardiovascular Health.

New Online Resource - www.LowerMyTrigs.com - Helps Patients Understand Triglycerides and Talk with Their Doctors About Management of High Triglyceride Levels

MADISON, N.J., June 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Although managing high levels of triglycerides, or fats in the bloodstream, can be important for cardiovascular health, a new survey shows that most Americans have little understanding of these fats and the importance of managing them appropriately. The survey, conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind across a randomized, representative sample of US adults over the age of 40 years, showed that a majority (54%) of Americans do not know if it is better to have high or low levels of triglycerides. Even among people with diagnosed high cholesterol nearly half (45%) were unsure if they should have high or low triglyceride levels.

"Avoiding high triglyceride levels can be important for maintaining cardiovascular health, yet most consumers have little awareness of these often forgotten fats," said Eliot A. Brinton, MD, Director of Atherometabolic Research at the Utah Foundation for Biomedical Research. "Health care professionals have done a fairly good job at educating patients about cholesterol, but need to do more to teach about triglycerides and their role in cardiovascular health."

Survey participants lacked a basic understanding of triglycerides. Only 16 percent correctly indicated that triglycerides are fats in the bloodstream, while three of four respondents (77%) were unsure what triglycerides are. Although survey participants were selected with elevated triglycerides, more than half (56%) could not name even a single health complication associated with high triglycerides.

Twice as many respondents (75%) were aware of their total cholesterol levels compared to their triglyceride numbers (37%). Nearly nine in ten (85%) are unsure at what point triglycerides are considered high.

Individuals also have little knowledge about omega-3 products and their potential role in controlling high triglycerides. For treating very high triglycerides, the approved dose of prescription omega-3 fatty acids is 4 grams per day. However, nearly all (99%) survey respondents were unaware that high doses (2 to 4 grams per day) of omega-3 fatty acids can reduce high triglyceride levels, when taken under the guidance of a healthcare professional.

Further, among those who report using an omega-3 product, 84 percent take a dietary supplement - even though the FDA has not approved these products for lowering triglycerides or treating or preventing any disease.

"It is troubling that many Americans use a product about which they understand very little and which may well fail to meet their particular cardiovascular health needs," said Dr. Brinton.

When asked to name any main ingredient of omega-3 supplement capsules, more than half (59%) of study participants could not name any.[sup.]Only 11% of respondents could state the health benefits of DHA while 8% of the respondents could state the health benefits of EPA, the other predominant omega-3 fatty acid found in marine-based fish oil products. Of particular note is that most omega-3 products contain DHA, the type of omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to raise levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), the "bad" cholesterol. Only 2% of survey participants were aware that DHA can actually elevate LDL-C. [sup.]

Survey respondents were also confused about the dosing of omega-3 products. More than half (59%) of respondents who said they have taken dietary supplement omega-3 capsules took only 1 to 2 per day. However, in order to achieve the 2 to 4 gram daily dose recommended by the American Heart Association to lower triglycerides, patients, under the care of a physician, would need to take from 10 to as many as 40 omega-3 supplement capsules per day to meet the AHA guidance (depending on the amount of DHA or EPA in the supplement).

"Managing triglycerides effectively requires a multi-pronged approach. Diet and lifestyle changes are always needed, and one or more prescription medications may be required," said 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."

Patients can visit a new online resource, www.LowerMyTrigs.com, to learn more about this "forgotten fat," and find guidance and resources to help them talk to their doctors about this important factor in cardiovascular health.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll sponsored by Amarin Corporation of 600 adults age 40 and older was conducted across the US by telephone with both landline and cell phones from February 20 through March 8, 2013 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.0 percentage points.

Methodology, questions, and tables on the web at: http://publicmind.fdu.edu Radio actualities at 201.692.2846 For more information, please call 201.692.7032

Methodology

The most recent survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind was conducted by telephone from February 20 through March 8, 2013, using a randomly selected sample of 600 adults age 40 and older across the United States. One can be 95 percent confident that the error attributable to sampling has a range of +/- 4.0 percentage points. The margin of error for subgroups is larger and varies by the size of that subgroup. Survey results are also subject to non-sampling error. This kind of error, which cannot be measured, arises from a number of factors including, but not limited to, non-response (eligible individuals refusing to be interviewed), question wording, the order in which questions are asked, and variations among interviewers.

PublicMind interviews are conducted by Opinion America of Cedar Knolls, NJ, with professionally trained interviewers using a CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing) system. Random selection is achieved by computerized random-digit dialing. This technique gives every person with a landline phone number (including those with unlisted numbers) an equal chance of being selected.

Landline households are supplemented with a separate, randomly selected sample of cell-phone respondents interviewed in the same time frame. The total combined sample is mathematically weighted to match known demographics of age, race and gender.

Q4. Can you tell me what conditions Omega-3, or fish oil, is often used to treat, or do you not know? (DO NOT READ LIST)


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


Cardiac/Heart Health


28%


31


20


27


29


Reduce Cholesterol


14%


16


9


11


18


Memory improvement


2%


2


2


2


2


Reduce Triglycerides


1%


1


1


1


1


Other


17%


16


19


17


17


Unsure/Never Heard of


48%


45


58


52


42


Q7. Without telling me what it is, are you aware or unaware of your personal cholesterol level?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Normal


High


Aware


75%


100


-


66


86


Un Aware


25%


-


100


34


14


Q8. Have you ever been told that you have high cholesterol?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


Yes


44%


51


24


-


100


No


55%


49


75


99


-


Don't Know


-


-


1


1


-


Q9. Scientists have identified different types of cholesterol. Is LDL considered to be the "good cholesterol," "bad cholesterol," or do you not know?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


Good


21%


22


17


20


21


Bad


27%


32


11


23


32


Don't Know


52%


46


73


57


46


Q10. Along with cholesterol, your doctor may have tested your triglyceride levels. Is it healthier to have high triglyceride levels, low triglyceride levels or do you not know?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


High


5%


4


5


4


6


Low


41%


48


23


35


50


Don't Know


54%


48


72


61


45


Q11. Without telling me what it is, are you aware or unaware of your personal triglyceride level?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


Aware


37%


48


4


29


48


Un Aware


63%


52


96


71


52


Q13. Do you know or not know at what point triglyceride levels are considered to be very high?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


Under 100


1%


1


-


1


1


100 to 199


6%


7


2


3


8


200 to 299


6%


7


2


4


8


300 to 399


1%


1


1


1


1


400+


1%


2


1


1


2


Unsure


85%


82


95


89


80


Q14. If someone asked you to explain what triglycerides are, what would you say, or do you not know?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


Fats in the bloodstream


16%


19


7


11


21


Hormones in the bloodstream


-


-


-


-


1


Enzymes in the bloodstream


-


1


-


-


1


Other


7%


8


3


6


8


Unsure


77%


72


90


82


69


Q15. What health risks are associated with very high triglycerides, or do you not know?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


Heart attack/cardiovascular disease


32%


36


21


28


38


Stroke


12%


14


6


10


15


Pancreas/pancreatitis


1%


1


1


1


1


Diabetes


6%


8


2


5


7


Other


8%


10


3


8


8


Unsure


56%


50


76


62


50


Q16. Which of the following, if any, has your doctor recommended you do to control your very high triglycerides?


All


Low fat diet


47%


Exercise more


43%


Eat more fish


33%


Tale other medication


37%


Take Omega 3


32%


Take fish oil


31%


Q17. And is that Omega-3 or fish oil product a Prescription, an Over-the-Counter, or a Dietary Supplement product?


All


Over-the -Counter


73%


Dietary Supplement


11%


Prescription


13%


Don't Know


6%


NOTE : All non-prescription Omega-3 products are dietary supplements and not O-T-C

Q18. Have you ever taken a non-prescription Omega-3 or fish oil product for your very high triglycerides?


All


Yes


39%


No


61%


Q22. Approximately how many non-prescription Omega-3 capsules are you taking or did you take each day?


All


1 or 2


59%


3 or 4


22%


5+


2%


Don't Know


17%


Q23. Can you tell me what the main contents of non-prescription Omega-3 capsules are, or do you not know?


All


Krill/Fish Oil


31%


Omega-3


10%


DHA


6%


Other


2%


Unsure


59%


Q25. Can you tell me what the health benefits of DHA are, or do you not know?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


Good for heart


5%


6


1


4


5


Lowers LDL


3%


3


3


3


2


Good for brain


2%


1


3


1


2


Other


4%


5


2


5


3


Unsure


89%


88


93


89


90


Q25b. Are you aware of any negative impacts of DHA?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


Yes


2


1


3


1


2


No


98%


99


97


99


98


Q26. Can you tell me what the health benefits of EPA are, or do you not know?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


Good for heart


4%


4


6


5


3


Lowers LDL


2%


2


1


1


3


Good for brain


1%


-


2


1


-


Other


3%


3


2


3


3


Unsure


92%


92


92


92


92


Q26b. Are you aware of any negative impacts of EPA?


All


Cholesterol Level


Aware


Unaware


Normal


High


Yes


1%


1


-


-


1


No


99%


99


100


100


99


Sample characteristics

Gender


Female


52%


Male


48


Age


40-49


14%


50-59


25%


60+


59%


Refused


2%


Race/Ethnicity


White


71%


Black/African-American


11


Latino or Hispanic


9


Asian


2


Other/refused


7


SOURCE Fairleigh Dickinson University's PublicMind
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