Good news and bad on cholesterol levels: study

By Martha Kerr

NEW ORLEANS (Reuters Health) - Levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol among adult Americans have fallen somewhat since 1980. However, harmful triglyceride levels have nearly quintupled over the same time period, according to research presented at the

American Heart Association’s annual meeting.

Research presenter Dr. Jerome D. Cohen of St. Louis University, Missouri, told Reuters Health that the falling LDL cholesterol levels may reflect Americans’ greater awareness of the dangers of a high-fat diet, but the “skyrocketing triglyceride levels” reflect the increasing prevalence of obesity, which Cohen described as a “a true epidemic.”

The findings are based on a look at data from the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey II (NHANES II) conducted between 1976 and 1980, NHANES III, covering the years 1988 to 1994, and NHANES 1999 to 2006.

The NHANES II data showed that in 1980, 48 percent of adult Americans had LDL cholesterol levels above optimal (100 mg/dL or greater) levels. By 2006, the prevalence had fallen to about 41 percent.

“This is a great story in itself,” Cohen said. “It looks like we are going to achieve the goals” of Healthy People 2010. “This is attributable to an increased awareness (of heart disease), healthier diets and the increased use of (cholesterol-lowering) statins.”

Sponsored by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Healthy People 2010 is a set of health objectives for the nation to achieve over the first decade of the new century.

However, the good news may be more than off-set by the bad in this analysis, Cohen warned. “Triglyceride levels are about five times higher they were in the first NHANES.” About one third of adults have elevated triglyceride levels, he said.

The problem is that more than one third of Americans are obese and two thirds are overweight. To lower triglycerides, it’s weight loss, weight loss, weight loss,” Cohen emphasized. “We need to eat less, eat better and exercise more.”

“We are going to be paying a price for this by an increase in deaths from heart disease,” Cohen said. While statins have contributed greatly to controlling high levels of harmful LDL cholesterol, “we are reaching a saturation point of pill popping.” The costs of healthcare are going to increase, as well, he noted.

Source

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related Posts:


By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - For people keeping track of their blood fats, triglycerides may be the new lipid to watch, researchers said on Tuesday. A study earlier this week found that the percentage of U.S. adults with high triglycerides had doubled over the past three decades, likely driven by climbing obesity rates. In another study, the

Full Post: Triglycerides may be blood fat to watch: studies
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An obese child’s arteries may be just as clogged as the arteries of someone who is middle-aged, researchers said on Tuesday. This buildup of fatty plaque means the children may risk heart attack or stroke as early as age 30, according to Dr. Geetha Raghuveer of the University of Missouri Kansas

Full Post: Obese kids’ arteries look like middle-aged adults’
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A rare genetic abnormality found in people in an insular Amish community protects them from heart disease, a discovery that could lead to new drugs to prevent heart ailments, U.S. researchers said on Thursday. About 5 percent of Old Order Amish people in Pennsylvania’s Lancaster County have only one working copy

Full Post: Amish gene trait may inspire heart protection
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older people who spend more time sleeping have higher cholesterol levels, and less “good” HDL cholesterol, Dutch researchers report. People who sleep fewer than seven hours a night, as well as those who log more than eight hours may be more likely to develop heart disease, although it’s not clear why,

Full Post: Longer sleep tied to worse cholesterol in seniors
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Being overweight or obese may increase the likelihood of having severe headaches and migraines, new study findings suggest. An increased prevalence of headache may be associated with being underweight as well. In analyses of 7,601 adult men and women, Dr. Earl S. Ford and colleagues at the U.S. Centers for Disease

Full Post: Obesity may raise headache risk

Site Navigation

Most Read

Search