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Trends in high LDL cholesterol, cholesterol-lowering medication use, and dietary saturated-fat intake: United States, 1976-2010

Kuklina, E.V.; Carroll, M.D.; Shaw, K.M.; Hirsch, R.

NCHS data brief 2013(117): 1-8

2013


ISSN/ISBN: 1941-4927
PMID: 23759124
Accession: 056686201

From 1976–1980 through 2007–2010, for U.S. adults aged 40–74, a decrease was observed in the prevalence of high LDL–C, as well as an increase in adults using lipid-lowering medications and consuming a diet low in saturated fat. A substantial decline in the prevalence of high LDL–C from 59% to 28% was seen over this same time period. There also were significant increases in the percentage of adults meeting federal dietary guidelines (6) for low dietary saturated-fat intake, from 25% to 42%, between 1976–1980 and 2007–2010; however, no significant changes were observed from 1988–1994 to 2007–2010. Although declines in the proportion of calories from saturated fat have occurred since the 1970s, the average dietary energy intake has increased (7). Use of cholesterol-lowering medication continued to grow steadily, from 5% to 23%, from 1988–1994 to 2007–2010. Despite recent advances in medical treatment, high cholesterol remains a significant public health problem in the United States, with more than one-quarter of adults aged 40–74 having high LDL–C. These findings may provide useful information for evaluation of programs and policy initiatives aimed at reducing the prevalence of high cholesterol in the adult population.

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