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Cholesterol scores improve in recent years

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

While the number of obese individuals in the U.S. continues to rise, their cholesterol test results appear to be improving, according to a new study published in the medical journal, The Lancet.

The study was a major investigation of worldwide heart health risks that looked at the changes in body mass index, blood pressure and cholesterol among diverse populations since 1989. The findings were less encouraging when it comes to BMI. The researchers found that the number of obese individuals has nearly doubled in the last couple of decades.

However, cholesterol test scores were more encouraging, particularly for the U.S. The researchers found that average cholesterol levels among Americans actually dropped during this time period. Additionally, they noted improvements in blood pressure.

"It's heartening that many countries have successfully reduced blood pressure and cholesterol despite rising BMI," said Majid Ezzati, the Imperial College of London researcher who led the study. "Improved screening and treatment probably helped to lower these risk factors in high-income countries, as did using less salt and healthier, unsaturated fats."

However, he added that more can still be done, and that public health officials should design campaigns to get individuals to reduce their salt intake further.

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