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CDC Reports Trends in Cholesterol Levels of U.S. Adults

No change in percentage of adults with high total cholesterol since 2009 (October 24)

According to an October data brief issued by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there was no change in the percentage of adults with high total cholesterol (TC) levels or in the percentage of adults undergoing cholesterol screening from 2009 to 2012.

Researchers estimated the percentages of adults 20 years of age and older with high TC levels and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, and screened for cholesterol, based on data from 2011–2012, and compared them with corresponding estimates from 2009–2010.

The study’s key findings include the following:

  • In 2011–2012, an estimated 12.9% of U.S. adults aged 20 years and older (11.1% of men and 14.4% of women) had high TC levels (unchanged since 2009–2010).
  • Approximately 17% of adults (just over one-quarter of men and fewer than 10% of women) had low HDL-C levels during 2011–2012. The percentage of adults with low HDL-C levels has decreased 20% since 2009–2010.
  • Nearly 70% of adults (67% of men and nearly 72% of women) had been screened for cholesterol (unchanged since 2009–2010).
  • The Healthy People 2020 target for high TC levels of no more than 13.5% was achieved in all adults and in all sex, racial, and ethnic groups except for women overall, Hispanic men, and non-Hispanic Caucasian women.
  • None of the sex, race, and Hispanic-origin groups attained the Healthy People 2020 target for cholesterol screening of at least 82.5%.

Source: NCHS; October 24, 2013.

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