Background and methods: We aimed to assess whether fasting plasma triglycerides independently predicted future fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) in a population having a high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome. In the Turkish Adult Risk Factor Study, a population-based survey, 2682 men and women 20 years of age or over with fasting triglyceride values available and free of CVD at baseline examination in 1990, were prospectively followed up till 2003/04. Triglyceride concentrations were measured by the enzymatic dry chemistry method and stratified into sex-specific quintiles. Information on the mode of death was obtained from first-degree relatives and/or health personnel of local health office. Diagnosis of coronary heart disease and stroke among survivors was based on history, physical examination of the cardiovascular system and Minnesota coding of resting electrocardiograms. A total of 120 fatal and 221 new nonfatal CVD occurred among adults (mean age 43 +/- 14) during a mean 9.3 years of follow-up.