Doctors can improve treating LDL cholesterol

Posted by: admin on: July 21, 2011

Identification and treatment of individuals with high LDL or “bad” cholesterol has improved in recent years, but patients are still slipping through the cracks

    • If too much LDL cholesterol is circulating in the blood, it can begin to build up on the walls of blood vessels
    • Buildup of cholesterol contributes to the development of plaque in the blood vessels
    • Plaque makes blood vessels narrower and less flexible and increase the risk for heart attack and stroke
    • From 1999 to 2006, the prevalence of high LDL cholesterol dropped from about 31% to 21%.

  • During that same time period, the proportion of individuals reporting that they took cholesterol-lowering drugs increased from 8% to 13%.
  • Screening for high LDL cholesterol remained steady over the years at about 70%. While management of LDL cholesterol had improved by the years 2005-2006, during this time period, about 35% of those with high cholesterol remained unscreened, 25% were undiagnosed, and 40% were untreated or under-treated.
  • Among those at high risk for cardiovascular events who were candidates for cholesterol-lowering drugs, 20% were not receiving them.
  • Today’s research demonstrates that while great progress has taken place in the treatment of high LDL cholesterol over the past several years, there is still a need for further improvement.


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