A new report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows the percentage of American adults with high LDL cholesterol, the “bad” kind, decreased by about one-third between 1999 and 2006.
Unfortunately, the bad news is that too many of those who have dangerously high levels of LDL cholesterol don’t know it, said study author Dr. Elena V. Kuklina, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.. “In the group with high LDL cholesterol, 60 percent of these people do not know they have this condition,” Kuklina said.
While many studies have found that overall cholesterol levels in American adults are decreasing, there has not been much information on LDL levels, Kuklina said. The study she did with colleagues at the CDC used data from consecutive results of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. It found that overall prevalence of high LDL cholesterol levels decreased from 31.5 percent in 1999-2000 to 21.2 percent in 2005-2006.
However, among those who tested high for LDL during the study:
- 35.5% had not been screened for LDL in the past.
- 24.9% who had been screened previously were unaware they had high LDL levels.
A troubling finding was that the greatest incidence of dangerously high LDL cholesterol is in the high-risk group. The prevalence of high LDL did decrease in that group, but only from 69.4 percent in the first survey to 58.9 percent in the last survey, the study authors reported.
There are different recommendations about the age at which cholesterol screening should begin, Kuklina noted. The CDC, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the American Heart Association recommend that screening tests should start at age 20, she said.
If you have high cholesterol, there are a number of things that you can do to keep bad cholesterol under control. You should choose a balanced diet that includes a good amount of protein, in the form of fish and dark meat, and be sure to get four to six servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Keep away from foods that have a lot of fat, as they are inclined to raise blood cholesterol levels.
If you are looking for a natural way to support healthy cholesterol levels, try our All-Natural Cholesterol Care Formula which contains several natural nutrients to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.