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Improvements in cholesterol test score may belie bigger problems

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

While average cholesterol tests may be improving, experts warn that the situation masks a larger problem that may lead to many more health complications down the road.

The average American's cholesterol levels dropped between the years of 2000 and 2005, which means good things for the nation's heart health, according to the Nevada Appeal.

However, experts worry that this decrease was caused mostly by the wider use of cholesterol-lowering medications, rather than lifestyle changes. This means that many people are likely still eating unhealthy diets and not exercising, which can jeopardize health.

"I think for many people, medication is the only way to keep cholesterol levels down," Kerry Neville, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association of Chicago, told the news source. "But too many people who take these medications totally disregard diet. That's a mistake, I think, because if they followed a heart-healthy diet, they might be able to take less medication."

The American Heart Association recommends eating better and getting more exercise as two of the most important ways to improve heart health.

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