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Hypertriglyceridemia has been positively associated with the risk of acute pancreatitis (AP), but whether increased triglyceride (TG) levels are associated with the severity of AP remains unknown. To this, a meta-analysis was conducted to assess the effect of elevated serum TG on the prognosis of AP.We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane library to identify all eligible studies (up to September 2016). We pooled the odds ratios (ORs) or standardized mean difference from individual studies using a random-effects model to investigate associations between levels of TG and the prognosis of AP.A total of 15 studies were included in the meta-analysis, including a total of 1564 patients with triglyceride-related acute pancreatitis (TGAP) and 5721 patients with nontriglyceride-related acute pancreatitis (NTGAP). The occurrence of renal failure [OR=3.18; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.92, 5.27; P<0.00001], respiratory failure (OR=2.88; 95% CI: 1.61, 5.13; P<0.0001), and shock (OR=3.78; 95% CI: 1.69, 8.44; P<0.0001) was statistically significantly higher in TGAP group than in NTGAP group. Furthermore, mortality (OR=1.90; 95% CI: 1.05, 3.45; P<0.01), systemic inflammatory response syndrome (OR=2.03; 95% CI: 1.49, 2.75; P<0.00001), and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE-II) scores (standardized mean difference=2.72; 95% CI: 1.00, 4.45; P<0.001) were also statistically significantly higher in TGAP group than in NTGAP group.Elevated serum TGs are related to a worse prognosis of AP.