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NewsBites January 2013 Issue

Americans’ Cholesterol Numbers Improving

A new report has good news about Americans’ cholesterol levels: Average adult total levels have dropped 10 points since 1994, reaching the national goal of reducing total cholesterol below 200 milligrams/deciliter (mg/dL). Bans on trans fats in food may be responsible, researchers wrote in JAMA. Looking at a sampling of tens of thousands of people, the study found average total cholesterol dropped from 206 mg/dL to 196 mg/dL. That total would have been even lower, with falling LDL averages, if not for an uptick in good HDL cholesterol. Use of statins quadrupled during the study’s span, to 15.5% of all adults and 35% of those over 50. But those cholesterol-fighting drugs weren’t the whole story, as improvements were seen even among those not taking statins.

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