Both epidemiological and intervention studies have shown that hypertriglyceridemia is a significant cardiovascular risk factor. The large variation of the triglyceride values is explained by the influence of several modifying factors, which are difficult to standardise. Therefore hypertriglyceridemia should be considered rather as risk marker, than risk factor. The measurement of the apolipoprotein CIII level, which is a more stable parameter of the triglyceride rich lipid particles, is now becoming more widespread. This parameter is also able to substitute the assessment of the small dense LDL form that has a controversial significance. The clinical benefit of reduction of triglyceride concentration and the accompanying increase of HDL cholesterol level by fibrates, in the prevention of the coronary heart disease (CHD) events, have been demonstrated in several prospective, placebo-controlled trials. The VA-HIT study, enrolling the largest number of patients, has shown that fibrates have another effect, presumably influencing the insulin resistance independently of lipid levels that is also able to reduce the CHD events.