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CDC study may encourage cholesterol testing

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

While the percentage of Americans with high LDL, or bad, cholesterol has decreased in recent years, many who exceed recommended levels may not be aware of their potentially harmful condition, new research suggests.

A study published in the November 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that about one-third fewer American adults had high LDL cholesterol between 1999 and 2006, compared to previous years, HealthDay News reports.

While the results seem promising, the research conducted by Dr Elena C. Kuklina, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also showed that about 60 percent of those with high LDL cholesterol did not know that they had the condition.

Kuklina told the news source, the 60 percent "are in two major groups - those who have never undergone testing, and those who have been screened but not diagnosed."

Analyzing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Kuklina and colleagues at the CDC determined that the overall pervasiveness of high LDL cholesterol levels decreased from 31.5 percent between 1999 and 2000 to 21.2 percent between 2005 and 2006.

CDC officials say that those who have been tested and diagnosed for high cholesterol may be able to lower levels though a better diet or medications such as statins.
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