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Cholesterol Levels Are Dropping In the U.S. Here's What That Means

Cholesterol Levels Are Dropping In the U.S. Here's What That Means
From TIME - October 25, 2017

New data reveal good news about cholesterol levels in U.S.

According to the latest numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2015-16, 12.4% of adults had high cholesterol, defined as any measurement over 240 mg/dL. Thats a significant decline from the 18.3% who had high levels in 1999-2000.

Cholesterol levels in the U.S. have been declining over the past few decades. That's mostly thanks to a greater national awareness of cholesterols role in contributing to heart disease and better drugs to lower cholesterol, such as statins and PCSK-9 inhibitors. Public health campaigns about healthy weight and the benefits of exercise also likely contributed to improving cholesterol levels.

There was also positive news about levels of HDL, or good cholesterol. Experts consider HDL levels greater than 40 mg/dL to be healthy and important in lowering the risk of heart disease. The latest survey showed that 18.4% of people had low HDL in 2015-16, compared to 22.2% in 2007-08. While the drop wasnt statistically significant, its a trend in the right direction.

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