Triglycerides may play a key role in developing heart disease, according to new research.
Scientists at Cambridge University studied a specific gene which is known to influence the levels of the blood fat.
The study found those with the variation in the gene which increased triglyceride levels had an 18% greater risk of heart disease than those that did not.
The scientists looked at 350,000 people from 101 earlier studies.
Previous studies into the issue have proved inconclusive.
Lead researcher Dr Nadeem Sarwar stressed more research involving the lowering of the levels of triglycerides was needed to confirm the link.
He said: “Such trials should help establish whether lowering triglyceride levels can reduce the risk of heart disease.”