Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Good Cholesterol Improving, Screening Still Lags

HealthDay News -- Americans' levels of "good" cholesterol are improving, but total cholesterol levels haven't changed one way or the other in the past few years, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.
Meanwhile, the nation's screening rates for cholesterol have stalled, according to the new analysis from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cholesterol levels include several components. With total cholesterol, low levels are healthier. In contrast, for high-density lipoprotein (HDL) -- the "good" cholesterol -- low levels are a risk factor for heart disease, while high levels are considered protective.
The CDC reported that compared to 2009-2010, fewer Americans aged 20 and older had low levels of good cholesterol in 2011-2012, dropping by 20 percent. That's good.
However, the goal of having at least 82.5 percent of Americans screened for cholesterol is lagging.
Many fatal and nonfatal heart attacks and strokes would be avoided with better detection of high cholesterol -- and lowering it by living a healthy lifestyle and, when needed, taking medications such as statins.  Read more about variations in screening rates and incidence of high cholesterol among various populations in the article here.
Cholesterol management is a key strategy of the  Million Hearts Initiative, an effort to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over five years.  Colorado participates in this initiative and you can too. Be one in a million - make your commitment and pledge today.

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