from Tufts University
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 government's goal of bringing the proportion of adults with high cholesterol down to 17% by 2010. And it's happened even as the percentage of the population that's obese or overweight has topped two-thirds. The CDC didn't 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.