Too few Americans are taking needed cholesterol-lowering drugs: CDC

December 3, 2015
Too few americans are taking needed cholesterol-lowering drugs: CDC
Only half who should are using medications to help prevent heart disease.

(HealthDay)—Nearly half of American adults who should be taking cholesterol-lowering drugs don't, federal government researchers report.

They also found that blacks and Hispanics were less likely than whites to take medications that lower levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol.

"Nearly 800,000 people die in the U.S. each year from cardiovascular diseases—that's one in every three deaths—and high cholesterol continues to be a major risk factor," said Carla Mercado, a scientist in the division for heart disease and stroke prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"This study reveals opportunities to reduce existing [racial] disparities through targeted patient education and cholesterol management programs," she said in a CDC news release.

The CDC study team analyzed national data from 2005 to 2014 and found that nearly 37 percent of U.S. adults—more than 78 million people aged 21 and older—were eligible to take cholesterol-lowering medications or were already taking them.

Among these people, 55.5 percent were taking cholesterol-lowering medication, almost 47 percent were making lifestyle changes to lower cholesterol, 37 percent were taking medication and making , and 35.5 percent were doing neither.

The study included all types of cholesterol-lowering drugs, but nearly 90 percent of those on medication were taking a statin, the researchers noted.

Of the almost 41 percent of men eligible for or already on , close to 53 percent were taking them. Among women, the figures were almost 33 percent and more than 58 percent, respectively.

Of the roughly 24 percent of Mexican-Americans eligible for or already on cholesterol medication, 47 percent were taking medications. The figures were 39.5 percent and 46 percent, respectively, among blacks, and more than 38 percent and 58 percent, respectively, among whites.

The lowest rate of taking recommended cholesterol medication (close to 6 percent) was among blacks who did not have a regular place for health care. The highest rate (80 percent) was among people who said they already adopted a heart-healthy lifestyle.

The study appears in the Dec. 4 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Explore further: Hispanics largely undertreated for high cholesterol

More information: The American Heart Association has more about cholesterol.

Related Stories

Hispanics largely undertreated for high cholesterol

November 9, 2015
Only one-third to one-half of Hispanics eligible to be treated with cholesterol-lowering statins are taking them, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2015.

Number of Americans taking statins keeps rising: CDC

December 23, 2014
(HealthDay)—More Americans than ever are taking cholesterol-lowering medications, federal health officials reported Tuesday.

Too few US Hispanics have cholesterol under control

November 9, 2015
(HealthDay)—Undertreatment of high cholesterol is a major problem among Hispanics in the United States, a new study finds.

Taking cholesterol medication before aneurysm repair improves outcomes

October 29, 2015
Rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm is one of the most dramatic medical emergencies a person can face. It usually strikes without warning, killing approximately 50 percent of those who experience it before they reach ...

CDC: Cholesterol levels continue to drop

April 24, 2012
(AP) -- U.S. health officials say only 13 percent of U.S. adults have high total cholesterol. That may seem incredible in a nation where two-thirds of adults are overweight.

Americans' blood triglyceride levels dropping: CDC

May 7, 2015
(HealthDay)—Americans' levels of triglycerides—a type of fat in the blood—have dropped significantly in the past decade, according to a new federal study.

Recommended for you

Height may be risk factor for varicose veins, study finds

September 24, 2018
The taller you are, the more likely you are to develop varicose veins, according to a study led by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers that examined the genes of more than 400,000 people in search of clues ...

Prosthetic valve mismatches common in transcatheter valve replacement, ups risk of death

September 24, 2018
In the largest multi-institutional study to date, led by researchers from Penn Medicine, the team found that among patients who underwent a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a high number experienced severe and ...

Study reveals a promising alternative to corticosteroids in acute renal failure treatment

September 21, 2018
A protein produced by the human body appears to be a promising new drug candidate to treat conditions that lead to acute renal failure. This is shown by a study conducted at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in São José ...

Can a common heart condition cause sudden death?

September 20, 2018
About one person out of 500 has a heart condition known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). This condition causes thickening of the heart muscle and results in defects in the heart's electrical system. Under conditions ...

New drugs could reduce risk of heart disease when added to statins

September 20, 2018
New drugs that lower levels of triglycerides (a type of fat) in blood could further reduce the risk of heart attack when added to statins. These new drugs, which are in various stages of development, could also reduce blood ...

Mediterranean-style diet may lower women's stroke risk

September 20, 2018
Following a Mediterranean-style diet may reduce stroke risk in women over 40 but not in men—according to new research led by the University of East Anglia.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.