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

Higher risk of heart attack on Christmas Eve

December 12, 2018
The risk of heart attack peaks at around 10pm on Christmas Eve, particularly for older and sicker people, most likely due to heightened emotional stress, finds a Swedish study in this week's Christmas issue of The BMJ.

Your weight history may predict your heart failure risk

December 12, 2018
In a medical records analysis of information gathered on more than 6,000 people, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers conclude that simply asking older adult patients about their weight history at ages 20 and 40 could provide ...

Age is the biggest risk for heart disease, but lifestyle and meds have impact

December 12, 2018
Of all the risk factors for heart disease, age is the strongest predictor of potential trouble.

New understanding of mysterious 'hereditary swelling'

December 12, 2018
For the first time ever, biomedical researchers from Aarhus University, Denmark, report cellular defects that lead to a rare disease, hereditary angioedema (HAE), in which patients experience recurrent episodes of swelling ...

Research team traces pathway to cardioprotection in post-ischemic heart failure

December 11, 2018
During an ischemic attack, the heart is temporarily robbed of its blood supply. The aftermath is devastating: reduced heart contractility, heart cell death, and heart failure. Contributing to these detrimental changes is ...

Macrophage cells key to helping heart repair—and potentially regenerate, new study finds

December 11, 2018
Scientists at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre have identified the type of cell key to helping the heart repair and potentially regenerate following a heart attack.

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.