Cholesterol is one of the health parameters that determine a person’s risk of heart disease. In the U.S. alone, roughly 78 million people are diagnosed with high LDL — or “bad” — cholesterol.
Despite the prevalence of the risk factor, not everyone eligible to take cholesterol-reducing drugs is doing so. This was discovered through a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which went through data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys between 2005 and 2012.
According to a news release, the CDC report revealed that 36.7 percent of U.S. adults are allowed to take medication designed to lower cholesterol. Unfortunately, only 55.5 percent of this group take this kind of medication. In terms of race and ethnicity, Mexican-Americans have the least proportion of medication takers, with only 47 percent of the eligible group currently taking drugs.
The agency also discovered that only 46.6 percent of people eligible to take cholesterol-reducing drugs changed their lifestyles to include increased physical activity. Meanwhile, 35.5 percent chose not to take medication or make lifestyle changes.
People who are eligible for cholesterol-lowering drugs should have either cardiovascular disease or impairment, or high LDL cholesterol. Adults between 40 and 75 years of age are recommended for medication if they have diabetes and high LDL cholesterol combined.
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