Report finds rates of people with high cholesterol holding steady

An estimated 12.9% of U.S. adults ages 20 and over had high total cholesterol in 2011-12, a rate that essentially was unchanged from 2009-10, according to a CDC report.

By gender, the rates of high cholesterol were 11.1% of men and 14.4% of women in 2011-12, according to a data brief from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

About 17% of adults — 26.4% of men and 9% of women — had low HDL cholesterol. The percentage of adults with low HDL cholesterol decreased 20% from 2009-10.

Nearly 70% of adults — 66.9% of men and 71.8% of women — had been screened for cholesterol, a rate that essentially was unchanged from 2009-10.

“To identify persons who may be at risk for developing coronary heart disease, adults are advised to have their cholesterol checked at least once every five years,” according to the report.

Screening rates were lower for Hispanic adults than for non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black and non-Hispanic Asian adults.

For purposes of the report, high total cholesterol was defined as greater than or equal to 240 mg/dL, while low HDL cholesterol was defined as less than 40 mg/dL. Data came from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The report did not take into account whether lipid-lowering medications were taken.


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