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NewsBites July 2012 Issue

Fewer in US Have High Cholesterol

Despite our ever-widening waistlines, Americans are making progress on at least one front in the war on heart disease: the battle against high cholesterol. According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of US adults with high cholesterol dropped 27% over the past decade. The CDC says about 13.4% of American adults had unhealthy cholesterol levels in 2009-2010, down from 18.3% in 2009. That drop easily beat the governmentís goal of bringing the proportion of adults with high cholesterol down to 17% by 2010. And itís happened even as the percentage of the population thatís obese or overweight has topped two-thirds. The CDC didnít spell out causes for the cholesterol improvement, but the trend coincided with changes in US dietary-fat consumption, notably a sharp decline in trans-fat intake. Meanwhile, prescriptions for cholesterol- lowering drugs such as statins have soared during the past decade, with 260 million dispensed in the US last year.

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